Steering You Away From Harm

, | Friendly | January 4, 2017

I am 17, and due to the super-high pressure of having to get perfect grades, work, and be in many activities, plus already having anxiety, I am not doing well, and have gotten into self-harm for some time. I often take a break from all this by staying with my best friend and her family. I am especially close to her mom, who is a doctor, since I’m really interested in medicine. However, one very early morning after staying over, I can’t stop myself from self-harming at my friend’s place. I hope to go back to bed unnoticed, as it’s just after five am, but her mom is also up early and almost literally runs into me.

She barks at me to sit down, because I look so pale and am carefully cradling my injured arm. Before I can do much more than stammer my protests, my friend’s mom has taken my vital signs and tries to roll up my sleeve. I frantically shake my head and try to jerk away, until she promises that she just wants to see that I’m all right and won’t get angry at me.

When she sees the injury, she pauses, takes a deep breath, assures me it’s OK, and tells me to stay where I am. Instead of calling my parents, 911, or starting in on me, she comes back with a massive, well-stocked first aid box, and calmly patches me up.

She then says that speaking as a professional, I need counseling and to have complete blood testing done, to check my iron levels and rule out physical causes for why I feel so bad emotionally. And, speaking as a mother, she would want to know if her daughter felt bad enough to self-harm, so I need to tell my parents.

This was a really small act of kindness, but ensured I got the help I needed, and knew someone cared about me in that dark time.

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