'When I am sad, I cut... When I am frightened, it quietens my fears'

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Caroline, 25, has self-harmed since she was 10 years old and still cuts herself up to twice a week, although therapy is helping her. These are extracts from her diary over two weeks.

Caroline, 25, has self-harmed since she was 10 years old and still cuts herself up to twice a week, although therapy is helping her. These are extracts from her diary over two weeks.

MONDAY

When I am sad, I cut. When I am anxious, I cut myself. When I am frightened, it quietens my fears; when I am suicidal, it helps me to live.

This afternoon I tried to hang myself. Can you believe it? I tied a belt to the banister on my staircase, and then looped it round my neck, and swung. Then the belt came undone and I fell to the floor with a big, bruised thud. Well, that worked then!

TUESDAY

I am ill and growing iller, I am weak, and growing weaker. I think that hospital will, all too soon, become my home as my fight with life is tiring me.

I cannot keep myself safe. Soon the shadows will take me forever. I will become dust.

WEDNESDAY

Last night I contacted NHS Direct. They advised me to attend the hospital for treatment of my cuts.

I am told to wait in the waiting area with the others that find themselves here at this time of night. I wrap my arms around my bag and weep into it, quietly.

Everyone is staring at me, but I cannot stop.

The doctor comes to see me now. I describe to her the situation I find myself in and I tell her of the blackness, and the panic, and the fear and why I harm myself.

This is my way of coping, this is my way, and this is my best. This is not good enough.

THURSDAY

This morning I have been to therapy. I could feel the tears stinging again and I wanted to cry. I could almost see myself sobbing in front of her [therapist], but I would not allow it.

I am lost, and frightened, and I feel so alone. And so I will harm myself again?

I decided right there and then, that I could not face this pain any more, and the fear. I cannot face the fear.

I took matters into my own hands, and despite being in company, I overdosed. I took paracetamol, and solpadeine; not huge amounts but plenty more than I should have done.

FRIDAY

This morning I woke up around 7am but I couldn't move. I had a lot of aching in my right side, and my stomach hurt.

I started being sick at about 8am, and threw up every few minutes for the next five hours.

The mental heath team called and I was too ill to answer the phone. I wanted to talk to someone, and for someone to know how much I hurt myself, but I daren't have told them.

SATURDAY

I wish there were someone for me to talk to, but there isn't.

I hate myself for not going to college, and I hate myself for coping in ways that might end up with me killing myself. I wish I were different. I don't want to seek medical help, though I feel that I may need it. I don't want to be judged at the hospital.

SUNDAY

This weekend I went to London to a rally for survivors of child sexual abuse. I have never felt so safe among a group of people.

When I went down I kept telling myself that I didn't belong; that I was supporting friends etc. Then ... when we got to the square and I Will Survive was playing, it all hit me.

I was so overwhelmed ... I realised I was there for me too. It made me glad to be alive, a feeling I haven't had for the longest time.

TUESDAY

I cut a vein until it started bleeding quite a bit. There was just lots of blood. Now, there is a hole in my forearm, right in the joint, so I don't think it will close up. It ¿s quite gaping, and hurts now. Seeing the blood brought me some release.

I feel I am losing myself to this self-harm, and it is so frightening. I am like a drug user, ever trying to get a fix, ever trying to get as big a hit as the last time.

WEDNESDAY

Today, I was on my own at work and I felt so helpless. I put my hand in the pocket of my jeans and cut my finger; there was a blade.

I went into the toilet and cut. I have rarely harmed myself when I am at work, and definitely not like this before. It ¿s on my mind all the time.

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