Sticks and Stones
By Abbie, age 15, Louisiana
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me ... right?
Hello, Sweet Designs community. This is Abbie. I seriously doubt any of you remember me, because I've only written one article ("Don't Hurt Yourself - Help Yourself", April '08). Ironically enough, that article is pretty hypocritical now. Why, you may ask? It was on self-mutilation and how it wasn't healthy. It also gave advice on how to get help and things of that nature. It was a good article, in my opinion, and I was excited to write more. However, something held me back.
Bipolar disorder - it's quite an ugly sounding disease, isn't it? If you don't know anything about it, here's a summary. Basically, you can't control how your moods change. For a couple days, you can be happy-go-lucky as can be, and then a week later, you could have a period where you have fits of rage. It's not very fun, not knowing how you're going to behave, and how your moods will vary. Anyway, it's an ugly condition. Recently, I've been stuck in a low. With bipolar disorder, you have highs and lows. Highs are when you're manically happy, and lows are when you are horribly depressed. This low was worse than any other.
The other lows only lasted a couple days or so at the longest. However, this one kept me in a state of blah-ness for months. This was not an ordinary low, though. This was actual depression. I didn't care about anything. I couldn't maintain a sleeping pattern. Sometimes I wouldn't sleep for days. Sometimes I would sleep all the time. The things I loved to do, like writing and reading, were stolen from me. They didn't interest me anymore.
One might wonder why my last article is hypocritical. This is because eventually the constant ache of being depressed became too much to bear. I resorted to self-mutilation in hope that I could just feel something. All I really felt was pain. Adding pain doesn't make much sense, does it? Well, in my mind, in the psychotic anxiety of not being able to control my moods, it was a sick comfort to have something I could have reign over.
Eventually, though, I knew it was out of control. I started contemplating suicide. I started planning it out, and eventually came close to actually killing myself. I knew I had to turn to someone to help. I had someone I'd been confiding in about it, but he was a cutter too. I sought the help of the writers of this wonderful magazine, Sweet Designs. They definitely rose to the occasion. I got many letters and notes of encouragement. They told me I could get help, and shared anecdotes of their previous experience with SI (self-injury). This encouragement gave me so much strength. They really have no idea how much they helped me in my situation.
I'm getting better. I've only cut once in the past two months, which is a great accomplishment. I owe it to all my friends and the writers at Sweet Designs Magazine. So, in closing, I dedicate this article to all the writers who replied to Steph's email.
Editor's Note: Responses to Abbie (aka "Veronica") by SDM writers, from last month's issue: "Good Advice for Hard Times"