It's been awhile since I've written anything about my history with self-harm, and it's probably been even longer since I've just come out and said it so bluntly: I have a history with self-harm.
I'd say, too, that I have a present with self-harm, in the sense that I sometimes still think about it. Like I told Nicole when she interviewed me for her podcast, I liken self-harm to being an addict. My grandpa, an ex-smoker, once told me he didn't consider himself a recovered smoker; he considered himself a smoker who hadn't lit up in 40 years. To me, self-harm feels very much the same.
It has been nearly 15 years since I last hurt myself. It's been about 11 since I engaged in dangerous disordered eating habits. But those things will always be a part of me. They played a role in making me who I am - which is a person who has overcome those things and feels stronger and more confident for having done so.
I wanted to speak with honesty and sincerity, and I hope I have. I hope my story sheds some light on what depression can look like for young women (or at least, for this young woman) and on how finding a healthy, joyful coping mechanism can be truly life-saving.
Trigger Warning: Nicole reached out to me with the specific hopes of talking about my experience with depression, self-harm, and disordered eating, and for a little over an hour, that's exactly what we did. I never go into gruesome detail, speaking instead in euphemisms and generalities, but if you're not in a place to listen to that kind of subject matter, definitely skip this episode of the podcast.
If you listen, I hope you'll be open-minded and understanding. It was hard to put myself out there in this way, although Nicole was such a wonderful host that the conversation really felt natural from the start. The topic is hard, though. Revisiting that dark mindset is hard. Sharing this part of myself makes me feel vulnerable, but it also makes me feel powerful.
I went through this. It's a part of me. I'm still here, and I'm stronger than ever.
If you'd like to listen, here is the the Sound Cloud link. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
You can also read Nicole's blog and listen to the podcast on the Skirt Sports website.
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If you're struggling with depression, this link will take you to a variety of helplines.
Finally, I'd like to thank Nicole for giving me this opportunity to share, for wanting to hear my story, and for being such an amazing listener.