Hi, I thought that I would introduce myself. My name is Ellen and I am 16 years old.
Some of you may skip this post because you'll think that I am too young to know about some of the problems in life. That I am not mature enough to be on this site.
You are wrong.
Yes I am a teenager but I am much more mature than what my years suggest. I have had to be.
I have self harmed for almost three years now so I know what it's like to struggle with addiction. I know how hard everyday life can be. The constant fear of parents finding out. Friends finding out. The reactions people have when they see your scars. I know. I have lived and I am still living through it.
Although my parents already know about my self harm I still feel the need to hide my scars from them. I am ashamed. Ashamed that I cannot stop. I will try and cover them up but the same question will always come out of my Mother's mouth: "Have you been cutting again?" - I hate that expression - cutting - it's a horrible expression. It makes people believe that the only form of self harm is "cutting" - that is wrong. There are many forms of self harm that people struggle with and each form is much different than the next.
My parents do know about my self harm - my school told them. I had started self harming when I was 12 years old. I was scared and I wasn't even aware of what I was doing. I didn't understand what was happening to me. That night I phoned my best friend - at the time - and I confided in her. She convinced me to tell my Father, who was away working. I told him. I don't remember what he said but he was upset - I don't really remember. The next day I told a woman who was student support at my school. I went home that night and something was wrong. My Mother started crying and wanting to know why - the school had phoned them. I ran upstairs to my room - ashamed of myself. My Father followed me and hugged me. He started crying. I vowed that day that I would never tell my parents anything again - in fear that they would be that upset again.
I became depressed so very depressed. Life continued like that for a while. The cold and emptiness feeling. The self harm. The continuous cycle of negativity. My friend had spread rumour amongst my friends about my self harm. I began to push people away. I didn't trust people with my secrets anymore.
I have suffered with depression for almost three years now. Depression isn't something you choose. Depression chooses you. It preys on your mind and sucks away every little bit of happiness in your life - until there is nothing left but numbness. You loose all feelings. You don't feel sad anymore because you adjust to the constant feeling of emptiness and hopelessness.
I have suffered with social anxiety and generalized anxiety for two years now. Living with the constant fear of going out with my friends. Of going to school. I used to make myself late for school - purposely. I believed that the later that I made myself - the less anxiety and fear I would have to endure. I was wrong. I was 13.
I would be late for school because I would want to avoid it - I was scared. I tried to tell people that something wasn't right. That I needed help. Nobody ever believed me.
My school would punish me for being late. First it was a break time detention (20 minutes). Then it was a lunchtime detention (40 minutes). Then it was a break and lunchtime detention (20 minutes and 40 minutes). Then it was an after school detention (60 minutes).
Then my school put me in isolation - (I spent all of my five lessons by myself in a small room; I would have a break time detention (20 minutes); a lunchtime detention (40 minutes); and an after school detention (60 minutes or sometimes 2 hours). My school was punishing me for having anxiety disorders.
On top of this - at home my Mother had grounded me and confiscated all of my electronics until I got into school on-time - which was 10 months later. I became even more depressed because of this. I couldn't see my friends at school because I was isolated. I couldn't call them at home because I wasn't allowed to.
Life continued this way for a while.
I have had an EDNOS - (self diagnosed) for over a year now.
My life has been a roller-coaster because of this. On October 8th 2014, I started restricting what I ate. First it was less than 800 calories. Then it became less than 500 calories. Then it became less than 300 calories. Some days I wouldn't eat at all. I became and I have become obsessed with loosing weight. Due to my disability I cannot do certain exercises but I do what I can. Currently I do 2 hours of exercise per day and - unfortunately - I am eating two, or sometimes three meals per day.
Sometimes life is easier and other times not so much. I have become with seeing my bones sticking out and when I eat I feel sick. I hate it. I feel disgusted with myself. I have tried to make myself throw up after meals on many occasions but I have never been able to. This makes my depression worse because I feel that I am not strong enough. Not good enough to make myself throw up. I haven't been able to use laxatives because I don't think I am old enough to buy them for myself. My Mother doesn't know that I starve myself or the amount of self hatred I feel. I hate it. I hate me.
Anyway this is my story so far. I hope that if some of you relate to this then you realise that you are not alone. Also please seek help because this is not something that you should go through alone. I have seen 5 counsellors and a mental health specialist - although I currently do not have a counsellor.
Please feel free to message me if you have any questions or would like any advice.
I also volunteer for an organisation that improves mental health services in the South West of England so if you have any comments I would happily put them forward for you.