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Who will save me from myself?

My journey through self-harm and depression.

(TW: Self-harm, depression)

Words by Naomi Yeo.

It was a fierce battle between “stop being weird, those blades are so old”, and “phew, I still have them.”

In the end, the latter got the better of me – I pressed my old pen knife blades on the side of my legs.

I'm a young adult – who fell into the deep, dark and insidious hole of self-injury several years ago, long past days of teenagerhood. This time, I slipped up after more than a year without having an episode – and it hit me hard. I've heard analogies of self-injuring tendencies being compared to an abusive lover – the one you know keeps hurting you over and over, but you keep going back because it's the only thing you know, and the only thing you feel you deserve – and for now, I think I see these behaviours in the same perspective.

The next day, I find myself in tears – I'm not sure why I'm crying; I'm unable to stop – I'm trying. I can't decide which is worse – falling back into this black hole I repeatedly warned myself to avoid, which hurts even more knowing I've stayed clear for so long; or feeling sad and invalidated – invalidation is one of my biggest triggers preceding an episode. It's exhausting, and I'm relieved it's not a work day. My eyes hurt from crying. With every fibre of my being, I hope my colleagues will not notice my puffy eyes at work the next day.

Invalidation is one of my biggest triggers preceding an episode.

Everything feels familiar – raised, red bumps that hurt when I brush against it as I take off or put on clothes, or when the water from the shower tap touches my skin. I can't win – if the water's cold, the wounds sting; if it's hot, they burn. I regret the episode the previous night already – why can't I remember to stay away, knowing I can neve