I Believe In Sanguine Tears

Ashley - Sterling, Massachusetts
Entered on April 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I don’t remember when or why I first cut myself. But, I remember the feeling, the momentary release. For that one moment, the world stopped and everything was perfect. It was euphoric. But, that feeling lasted only a second and again I was bombarded with so much emotion that it was hard for me to breathe.

I was at the lowest point in my life. I was so full of emotion that I felt like it was crushing me. Every little thing that went wrong seemed catastrophic to me. Nothing in my life seemed to be right. So to cope, I started cutting myself.

At first, I would do it a few times a month, then a few times a week, until finally I was cutting myself three or four times a day. It became an addiction. I was only content when I felt the warm sanguine tears on my skin. But, as soon as the blood dried, I lost my bliss. So I would keep cutting myself to feel that momentary serenity.

I felt alone, as if there was no one who understood what I was doing to myself. I was ashamed. I felt like I couldn’t talk to my friends or my parents because I did not want them to think that I was a freak. I knew that what I was doing was unhealthy, but I didn’t know how not to. I needed someone to tell my secrets to.

I went online to try to find information on self-mutilation and how I could stop cutting myself. Most of the sites I went to weren’t at all useful because they were for people that were suicidal, and I wasn’t. I found an online support group for people that self-mutilated. I started talking to other people that cut themselves and people that were able to find ways to stop. It was relieving to know that other people knew what I was going through. I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore.

I started talking to someone who had cut himself for years and was able to stop. He said that he started writing down what he was feeling and that once the emotion was on paper he did not feel the need to cut himself. So, I started keeping a journal.

It felt good to be able to get my feelings out in a more constructive way. Once my thoughts were on paper I didn’t feel the need to cut myself. Even though writing in a journal helped, after a while I started cutting again. I needed to be able to stop cutting. One night I wrote a poem in my journal. It was perfect. For the first time in a long time I was proud of something I had done. I had finally found my way out.

Filling my first notebook with poems was such an accomplishment. During the few months it took me to complete, I only cut myself four times. By the time I was halfway through my second notebook I only cut myself once. Eventually my poems turned from dark to happy. It has been thirty-three months since the last time I cut myself. I have written a total of two hundred and forty seven poems. Four of my poems have been published.

I believe that every person has something within themselves that can change their world. Poetry changed mine. In myself I found a talent for being able to express myself through words. Poetry has become my passion. I believe that poetry has the power to change lives. It saved mine.