I began cutting myself when I was in grade five. I continued to cut myself everyday until I went to college. Many days, I would self-harm several times. I felt ugly and completely worthless.

Too often, I would find myself with a hammer or something sharp to scratch, cut or bash my hands. I refused to stop until I was in intense pain, had blacked out, or there was a lot of bleeding.

I used drugs to numb my crazy thoughts. My thoughts encouraged me to self-harm. I took Ritalin, mushrooms, cocaine, ecstasy, crystal methamphetamine, antidepressants, weed, painkillers- anything I could find.

One day, while I was in grade 12, I cut myself too deeply after a failed relationship. For 2 days, I kept bleeding and was left with a scar on my shin. A month later, I overdosed while using ecstasy. I then opened to family and friends when I regained consciousness. This is where I decided to get a psychiatrist and I got better with medical help and support from loved ones.

Today, I am rounding up my degree in social work and psychology. I haven’t taken drugs in 4 years and it has been more than 3 years since I last cut myself. I became the president of a group called Active Minds, a non-profit umbrella organization in Washington DC.

This group targets young people struggling with mental illness. I share my story, and my peers do too. It is a great support group, and many have become better through it.

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