My first encounter with self-harm happened before I even knew what self-harm was. I had never heard of the term before; all I knew was the inexplicable urge to hurt myself. There was a period of time not too long ago that I cut myself on almost a daily basis (I rarely got past two days without cutting). Today, however, I am a few days away from one year of not cutting. I will be writing more about the one year of not cutting, but first, I'd like to share a journal entry I wrote two years ago.

You hear it beckoning to you - your blade. The once soft and warm whisper of the blade is gone; it is now a menacing scowl, demanding you to pick it up and slash open your flesh with it.

You remember the first few times you cut. The blade was a friend; a friend who would never let you go; a friend who was there for you no matter what. All you yearned for was the blade's sweet embrace.

Today, you stare at the blade, but you don't see a friend any more. You see a captor. You cannot help but oblige, and end up cutting yourself yet another time. You watch as your skin splits open, staring at the way the blood seeps through the torn flesh. You then feel weak and stupid for giving in to the blade, so you end up cutting even more to punish yourself.

It is a love-hate relationship between the blade and you - you hate it. You hate the blade so much because of the way it controls you, but you love it too much to throw it away. You know that you cannot survive without the blade.

It's a conundrum, and you cannot decide whether or not to continue submitting to the blade, or to be strong and toss it out the window. Then, you recall what it was like the last time you tried to rid the blade. It didn't end very well, did it? No, it didn't. You ended up in tears. You ended up unscrewing a new blade from a sharpener. So you start to think - you've tried and you've failed so many times, you're probably going to fail this time anyway, so why bother trying?

The cycle resumes as the blade's reign over you slowly consumes you whole, until you are nothing but an empty soul wrapped in parchment, ripped up skin.

Published by Claire Leong