Black Ribbon

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Today is known as self harm awareness day, probably less known than it should be. Personally, I know there are many more ways than simply being aware to help something, but this is something I had to be a part of. Why? Because its been a little over two years since I last cut myself. Just barely. Anyone who has ever self harmed or still does is told to wear a black ribbon around their wrist, and if you’re aware of this, you’re supposed to give them a hug when you see them and tell them to stay strong. You might find this silly, but you have no idea the impact something so simple can make to someone hurting.

The pain was dark, my mind would go black and I could hardly see through the tears. When I couldn’t find a blade, I’d resort rocks, gravel, pine cones, anything would work. I was filled with fury and confusion. I hated myself, I wanted to die. The pain stung, but I felt a temporary relief from the rest of the pain. It was as if I had cut loose my restraints that kept my emotions locked away, and when I pulled my sleeves down and walked away, they were safely sealed up again, but it was all an illusion. The time of healing was even harder, I wanted that release back, and I struggled whenever I was alone. Papi brought me joy even in the darkness and I found hope in dreams, songs and my friends. I played old pokemon games to keep my mind from wandering, I listened to Owl City and the Jonas Brothers and kept myself from finding anything too depressing. I hid from my family and caused them more pain and worry than I’d like to admit, but even over time that has been restored. People have called me perfect before, I don’t like that, I’m not. I might have been sheltered, but I was just as messed up as anyone else. I’ve been cleansed, healed, forgiven, loved. Love. Love changes everything. When I look at my wrists, I can still remember what they looked like. Sometimes I see myself in the mirror with someone else’s scars, that’s why I write. Everyone has a story.

Being that I won’t go many places where I’ll come across strangers today, I realized I should do something. Believe me, this takes a lot to say so openly, it’s not something I’m proud of, at all. Somehow, I only have a couple of scars that lasted, and none clear on my wrists, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t there. I remember it, clearly. Sometimes, the thought still comes to mind, but it’s not even a temptation, not anymore. It’s said that you know who your friends are when you go through a hard time and that couldn’t be more true. It’s thanks to the promises they held me to that I stopped when I did. When they held my wrist, my hand and told me that I was worth it, to stop hurting myself, that I was beautiful, something clicked, and those words, the touch of their hand on my wrist came back to me whenever I thought about doing it again. I wasn’t alone, and truth be told, it was more painful to hold a friend’s wrist marked with cuts than it ever was to do it to myself. Perhaps that is the pain that kept me from returning from it until I understood the truth.

The truth is, more of us have done it than you think. We don’t do it to get attention, we do it because we hurt and we feel alone in that pain, we do it for several reasons. Some of us do it to keep ourselves from hurting others instead, there are so many different reasons. The truth is, you’re beautiful. Don’t hurt yourself, you aren’t alone. That’s why I drew this ribbon, because I stopped a while back, but I want you to know I understand, I was there. I love you. You’re an amazing person, whether you think so or not. I’m here, and so are some others, the entire world isn’t cold and heartless, just a lot of it. Stand strong. More than I or anyone else could love you, Papi loves you. There’s more to life than pain and worthlessness, there’s faith, hope and love. Love. The greatest of all, it’s truly beautiful. Imagine that. Love someone. Love everyone. Don’t hate yourself. We mess up, I mess up. But I’ve learned, hating myself is hating who He made me, and He doesn’t want me to be in pain. So there’s something else wrong, it’s the evil desire, it’s the pain in the world. I’ve come a long way since then, I’m following Him with all my heart, I’m not alone. Neither are you.

If you’re reading this and you think self harm is stupid, you’re right. But the people who do it aren’t, they’re just trapped. You might’ve fallen into a different trap, but that does NOT make you better than them. If you love them, you’ll understand their pain. Love. It’s a sad and terrible thing and I wish I could end it all, but I can’t, not alone. I hope and pray that you find someone as loving as the people who helped me through this, and you find God, because being His disciple, His child, there’s nothing, NOTHING like it. Aye, it’s still hard, but He’s always there, and He helps us find those who can share this journey with us.

Stay strong. I wish I could hug all of you today, I really do, but stay strong. You’re not alone.

~Tori Lynn

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3 thoughts on “Black Ribbon

  1. Victoria Walcott says:

    Wearing mine today…. ❤ Love you so much!

  2. Mike Zaremba says:

    I will wear mine today knowing I’ve come a very long way since the last time. I know that wasn’t easy to write. I know because I can just barely write about myself without being reminded of what it felt like. I’m happy you’re friends were able to help just as mine did. You are amazing Tori, never ever forget that!. ❤

  3. We all have a dark side, a part deep down that hurts and we think no one understands. I am glad you have recognized yours and are beating it. Do not be complacent about it though, it can come back as we are in a battle with evil everyday. Watch for it and never let it take you down this path again. Time may come you face something far more dark than this. But I do think you will have the strength to see it coming before it gets you down so far as this did. We all have demons that we have to battle and as long as you have the right weapon you will always win. And no you are never alone, and I am glad you see that. elaine

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