Hope Came in the Form of a Friend

By Kavya SharmaAugust 16, 2022

This piece talks about self-injury. Please use your discretion. 

I struggle.

Two words that have their own meaning to everyone.

For me, I struggle with my mind—with the thoughts it holds and the notions it upholds.

So, it’s fair to say that my mind is/has been my greatest enemy, it sent me into a war that has resulted in me carrying scars from each battle I lost in a fight against myself.

The scars that lie on me are the scars that lie to me, and for a quite long time, I’ve been believing those lies. So many scars and so many lies.

There never were any attempts to end my life, rather I wanted the emotional pain to end.

And that desire was a catalyst to turn all the emotional pain into physical pain—which somehow was easier to bear. This became a (toxic) friend I could depend on which steadily transformed into an addiction.

All the love I couldn’t contain
The pain I couldn’t bear
The hurt that I caused
The harm that I did
It flowed and flowed inside
Until the day it burst outside
Sharp objects became the brush
Skin—the canvas
I painted and painted
All that I couldn’t hold,
Fighting it all on my own
Until I realized some fights aren’t
Supposed to be fought alone 

I wasn’t and am still not ready for professional help, so it took a handful of time to get on the path to recovery and a little (read: truckloads of) help from those around me to keep me sane and the sharp objects away.

But there’s pretty much no healing without relapsing—and things happened. Promises broke, but the support doubled. With time, the wounds healed although the scars remain, moreover it was the soul that needed healing.

Like sunshine on a cold winter evening, hope came along. Hope came in the form of a friend who worked toward curing it all. But even in the presence of hope, my battle still existed and my pain didn’t disappear. What I did learn is that when you allow yourself to be honest with at least one being (be it your therapist, a friend, a family member, or even your pet), you open up those jammed doors so that hope can find you.

In the hardest times, I veiled my struggles and destroyed my body for a peace of mind I never got. So when hope came shining through my broken windows, I decided to be honest with everyone around me. I took control over the consequences of my actions and for the true peace of mind I now know I deserve.

Things still do get hard: healing obstructs; relapses occur; this struggling and suffering is a lifetime journey. But in order to go upward and forward, it’s necessary to accept and acknowledge where it is I come from. There’s a lot of healing in that, too.

You are worthy of love and grace, from others and yourself. You are enough, here and now. If you’re dealing with self-injury or self-harm, we encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool to locate professional help and to read more stories like this one here. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor. If it’s encouragement or a listening ear that you need, email our team at [email protected].

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