Monthly Archives: January 2017

A Decade without Self-Harm

Ten years ago today, I self-harmed by cutting the word FEAR into my thigh with a safety pin. 

It wasn’t the first time I had ever self-harmed. I had been doing it for two years at that point, albeit not very often, and rarely drawing blood. Most of the time, I would just trace over an existing scar on my wrist at the base of my hand, but sometimes I’d get more aggressive and scratch and cut a little higher up on my wrist. It was always to cause pain to create a physical release for emotional stress and pain – Never to try to die. 

January 26, 2007 I was told by the boy that I liked that he didn’t want to date me. It was yet another blow to my fragile self-esteem. I took a few emo selfies (although that word didn’t exist yet at the time) and then decided I needed to self-harm to bring emotional pain to a physical level. 


It was the first time I’d ever cut on my leg. It was also the first time I ever told anyone I knew in person about it. (I had a group of internet friends who knew and we were all open with each other about our struggles). I told a friend the next day that I was struggling and what I had done, confiding in them. They promised they would come and pick me up and we’d go driving around and hang out to cheer me up.  

They never came. 


I was dragged, kicking and screaming, to the ER by my parents who believed I was suicidal. I was forced to strip naked and be examined by a nurse, who was also a classmates mother who I had known for years. I was then also examined by a doctor who was the father of another classmate. I had to talk to a therapist on the phone at 2am because it was snowing really hard and the therapist couldn’t make the drive down from Kalamazoo. I was eventually released from the ER after almost 6 hours, feeling humiliated and more miserable than ever, and forced to see a therapist a few days later for one session to make sure I was okay.

It was the beginning of a long ride through rock bottom for me. 


For weeks afterward, my mother would walk into the bathroom while I was changing, pretending to do other tasks while she searched by body for signs of self-harm. 

I had been betrayed by my friends, and that cut more deeply than any sharp object could. I had reached out for love and support from my friends and had been given embarrassment and suffering instead. At the time, I was livid, but so desperate for friendship that I let them back in. However it took a long time for me to be able to fully trust them again. In hindsight I know that it wasn’t betrayal but rather teenage kids trying to help another teenage kid with something over their heads in the only way they knew how. 

I knew I wanted to be free from self-harm. I didn’t know how to do it, so I began keeping track of how long it had been since that night. A week passed. Then a month. Then a year. 

So now, here I am. Ten years later. I honestly never thought I would be able to say that. I knew I would struggle – and struggle I did. I had the support of a lot of friends through the hardest times, which were the first few months afterwards. (At that time, I didn’t know that part of my problem was undiagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder, which I began treating in 2012). 

I adopted a “fake it til you make it” attitude to get me through, and that was a large part of my success. Did I have my life all together and figured out? No way. But I told myself that I did. I would tell myself that I had it together and that I was succeeding and beautiful and happy until I slowly started to believe those things for real. 

With each passing year, it got a little easier to resist the pull to harm myself. There were times where I nearly failed – but I didn’t. I held fast to the belief that if I just held on, that I would get through – and I did

While compiling this entry and reading through old journals for reference, I found this that I had written two months after the last time I self-harmed:

if i have already felt this much pain at seventeen, then what shit will i have faced/be facing when i am twenty-six or thirty-four or fifty or eighty?

I’ve faced so much since I wrote that ten years ago. I dated a man who was sexually and emotionally abusive, and it shaped so much of who I am as a person. I found and married the love of my life. I was diagnosed with diabetes. I started my own business and have traveled all over the country to do what I love. I received several promotions at work, where I do a job I never thought I’d be doing. I dedicated myself to an extremely strict church for the better part of a decade. I’ve faced my seasonal depression head-on. 

And that’s all by age 26. I can’t vouch for 34, 50, or 80 yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got it on lock. If not, I’m going to keep faking it until I make it. 

If I can do it, you can do it. 


If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, or just need someone to talk to, please reach out to one of the resources listed below. You are important and we need you here with us. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (available 24 hours per day)

Suicide Hotlines by State: suicide.org

Crisis text line: Text message GO to 741741

Additional resources: To Write Love On Her Arms

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Filed under Before, Real life, Support system

Signing my Death Certificate

I seem to make a lot of enemies on my Twitter. I suppose after having one for as long as I have (I was part of TWTTR’s beta, all the way back in 2006!) I shouldn’t be surprised, but, I figured I was done with twitter drama back when I dealt with Tony

However, just the other evening, I misread the tweet of a Representative from Minnesota about repealing the Affordable Care Act. I mistakenly thought the Congressman was stating his support for repeal, which directly threatens my well-being with the potential loss of the pre-existing conditions clause. I retweeted the tweet, saying that he was signing my death certificate. 

Very quickly, it was pointed out to me that I misunderstood his tweet, and everything was rectified between myself and Congressman Ellison. All good there and everyone who tweeted me to tell me of my mistake were all very nice about it. 

However, the next morning I woke up to this tweet in response to mine to the Congressman. 


Basically, Bob was insinuating that me dying due to not being able to afford medicine due to the repeal was a worthy sacrifice. 

I quickly tweeted Bob, asking if he was making a joke in bad taste, and then went in to work. When I checked my phone later in the day, he hasn’t responded, and had actually DELETED the tweet he directed at me, so I decided to poke the bear. I tweeted him again, attaching a screenshot of the offending tweet. I even told him I was reminding him of how disgusting his tweet was. I followed up that tweet with this one. 


Bob didn’t respond. Instead, he blocked me.  

He chose to be a coward rather than apologize, but I expected it. Anyone who has the nerve to spew something so disgusting online and not own up to it must be a coward. And honestly, I’m not all that angry about it. People will be horrible to others on the internet because they can hide behind the relative anonymity of it all. 

And as I saw someone tweet earlier this week about the possible ACA repeal, I can’t make people care about other people. But, I can sure as hell try. 

So here we go. 


My name is Abby, and at age 22, I was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune condition. Pre-Obamacare, I was uninsurable. By repealing the ACA with no replacement, specifically without provisions to protect those with pre-existing conditions, I could be forced to choose between life-saving medication and basic necessities like food and rent. 

It doesn’t matter if you identify with the Republican, Democrat, Wig, Green, Tea, Jedi, or any other political party. 

If you identify as a HUMAN, you should want to help your fellow humans. And leaving #the27percent of Americans with pre-existing conditions to die isn’t how you do that. 

We are vulnerable and scared. So please – think of us. Call your local Congressman. Help those who already struggle to live. 

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Filed under Insurance, Real life