The Scars of My Past

I was at my therapist’s office yesterday in the waiting room and I was looking at the scars on my arm. It seems a lifetime ago when I used to use self-harm and cutting as a coping mechanism for my depression.

The deepest scars are still there and are a reminder of my life before my last suicide— the last time that I used to self-harm. The deepest scars will always be there and I am not ashamed of them anymore.

On occasion, someone will notice my scars because they are so visible when I am not wearing a jacket. I am not afraid to talk about self-harm. I explain to them that at one point in my life I was in so much emotional turmoil that I had to take the pain away somehow. For a few hours after cutting my skin, I could make the emotional pain disappear.

I learned after a time that it’s not a good solution and the feeling is always temporary. I haven’t felt the need to cut on my arms since 2010, after doing it for years.

It started for as a teen. I was lost my senior year of high school and I had no real purpose. I had cut before in previous years of high school but not to the extent of that year. I was in the midst of a depression cycle and I didn’t even know.

My self-harm always happened late at night after spending my day wallowing in my depression. To be honest, I slept better after cutting because all I could feel was the pain the razor blade brought me.

It was destructive behavior and it went on through most of my young teenage and young adult life. I was 25 when my last suicide happened and I decided that I would quit the destructive nature that was my addiction to self-harm.

I sometimes wonder why topics come up on my blog at different times. I was just sitting there in the office of my therapist thinking about how far I have come since my self-harm days and it makes me smile.

At the same time. I am worried about those that are turning to self-harm. It’s a dangerous step and one that often leads to suicide. At least in my life, it has. I want to tell those that are self-harming that it will be okay. Life isn’t always this bad.

I am always here for those that need help. The Bipolar Writer has learned a lot about himself over the years. I have been through a lot of things including self-harm. I am here because even with the struggles in my life I survived so that I could be here to share my experiences.

The scars of my past are reminders that you always have to move forward. Learn from your mistakes. If you are self-harming I hope you find the strength to stop. I did. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I look at my scars every time things look bleak. I have never been as bad as those times.

Always Keep Fighting.

James Edgar Skye


Upgrading The Bipolar Writer Blog to Business

I am looking to expand The Bipolar Writer blog to new territories that include having the blog sell books for other artists (if I can make everything work). I am also looking to sell my own book here on my blog. I hate asking for donations but I have to do what I can.


Photo Credit: unsplash-logoPatrick Tomasso


68 Replies to “The Scars of My Past”

  1. it was really scary for me too son because you hid it so well. I did not know you were doing that for so long. I do not want to go back to that time in our lives. love you. I always knew this was the purpose that you survived all those attempts of leaving us, keep helping others who only now finding out about their mental illness because then i will know that those dark times of so much mutual pain was for a good purpose.

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey of strength and resilience. I self-harm because I have so much anger, frustration and sadness coiled tightly inside of me. I can’t stand crying, it makes me feel so weak and despondent. But it’s really the best reaction compared to cutting or abusing alcohol and drugs. Instead of projecting my anger outward, I direct it inward. It’s still not okay and most of the time it’s not related to suicide, at least in my firm opinion.

    1. There is nothing wrong with crying. I agree it’s a great alternative to cutting or abusing alcohol. Self-harm is something that we do because we feel lost or alone. It feels as if the emotional pain disappears for a while. Keep fighting and if you ever need some to talk to I am always here.

      1. Thank you. I have serious issues with anger, like most people do, and I am learning how to express it in a healthy way. xo

      2. I have issues with my anger when I am really manic. I get frustrated and lash out. I have found better ways to deal with my anger as well. Writing is a big thing that helps.

      3. Yes, writing is the best way for me. I am happy that it helps you as well. 🙂

  3. Thanks for writing thing post. I’ve had my own issues of self-hate (which I still deal with) and I have had self-inflicting behaviors in my past. It’s a miracle I’m still going and learning how to appreciate myself.

    1. It can be a long road to appreciating yourself. We sometimes live with so much self-hate that it consumes us. I am glad to hear you are learning to appreciate yourself.

      1. I’ve certainly been realizing that. Thank you so much. Blogging has been one aspect for me to be confident and more assertive.

  4. I have self harmed, for a long time and haven’t done that for over a year now! I have a hard time talking about self harm, and am disturbed my scars so often! I hope I can get where you are some day, the greatest thing though is I know I have stopped and that’s the biggest thing!

    1. That is the most important thing. Stopping self harm is never easy and it can feel impossible at times. Scars heal and think in time when your scars heal you will get to this place. It took me years and years to finally be confident in what my scars mean.

    1. Our past is hard to deal with at times. Writing my memoir has really helped me grow and gave me the strength to share my experiences here on my blog. Give it time.

  5. What a thoughtful and thought provoking piece, James! I self harm, and the pain seems to help my emotional distress-but I have given almost all of this to God, and my arms and legs (although scarred beyond all hope) are a testimony to the power of prayer. I haven’t been seen in a swimsuit in years-but I am not ashamed; it’s just a bit awkward at pool parties. 🙂

    1. I used to hide my scars by wearing zip-up hoodies no matter how hot it was outside. No one really knew what I did. I am so happy to hear that you have moved passed your scars and you are not ashamed. Self-harming happens when we have been too strong for too long.

      1. God bless you James. I have found more loving support in this blogging community than I have ever had thus far. It’s a wonderful community. Yes, people always said WHY ARE YOU WEARING PANTS IT’S 100 DEGREES IN THE SHADE!!!! Now they stare, but that’s on them. God bless you!!!!

  6. I can relate. I used to self harm and in some ways have turned to tattooing to get the same reaction, just in a different outlet… Thank you for sharing. I “hide” my scars through a flower garden tattoo that I have. It has helped me feel more secure about my body and what I did to it. Turned where I used to have shame, to a work of art.

    1. I am looking at a tattoo on my left arm of a playing card (an ace for my love of playing poker) to hide the scars on that side of my arm. Tattoos are good outlet. It’s the same concept really as related to physical pain versus emotional pain.

  7. I only once ever cut myself and it was much later in my life….a year or two ago, to be exact…and I’m no spring chicken. Despite struggling with depression, I had never understood the urge to cut myself, unless I was considering suicide. But, there came a time in which I knew suicide was no longer something that was viable in my mind, it was a word I had taken out of my vocabulary; I refused to look in its’ direction. But the pain and agony and distress of a certain situation was so terrible that I desperately needed to focus on some other way of dealing with what I was feeling. It was like I NEEDED to physically channel that pain out of my head somehow, and suddenly I understood. I’m happy to say that I haven’t cut since….and considering that my daughter noticed when I was careless about my arm….I’ve relegated it to something that I just can’t allow myself to do again.

  8. I also have very visible self harm scars, and I find the people who ask about them most are children. I explain to them that I got my scars a very long time ago, and then they ask it if hurt. I reply that used to, but they don’t anymore. They then make sure that I’m ok now, and move on. It’s almost a nice conversation- kids don’t care about stigma, they just care that you’re ok now. I wish more adults could be like that.

  9. Very well done for yourself and I’m sure your blog will go onto inspire others. I didn’t self harm in the classic sense. I used to punch myself in the head whenever I thought I made a “stupid” mistake. After suffering from headaches, I now know that that isn’t the way.

  10. I’ve been there as well.
    At least in the midst of what used to be pain, something beautiful has come of it.
    Thank you for sharing and thank you for continuing on.

  11. A brave post to write yet such a healing feeling. I was never a cutter yet I burned myself. I have quite a few scars on my wrists. Every so often I am asked about them and it is obvious that they were burned with a cigarette. People ask and I explain but the answers always get me funny looks. I don’t care about the looks, I am past that but I carry a pride in my scars because they represent healing, for me.

    1. I agree with you 100% Eve. Our past is a part of us and our battle scars mean that for time we couldn’t take the pain. At the same time, as you say, they represent the healing we had to go through to get past our past.

  12. Great post! I thought my self harm was in the past too, but this week I’ve had to have sutures again. Not very proud of myself for relapsing, but I am proud that I stopped when I realized what I was doing. It could have been worse…

    1. We all have those moments. I am sorry that you are going through that right now. Keep fighting. You have the right outlook it could have been worse. If you need someone to talk to, The Bipolar Writer is always here.

      1. You are very welcome. And I know it took courage to share a recent self harm event. I thank you for feeling that you could share here.

  13. That you have so much compassion for others after all that you have suffered is testament to your inner strength. I have so much admiration for you James, you are an inspiration :O) x

  14. This is amazing and I’m so proud of how far you’ve come! I used to self-harm too, I’m not just sure when I exactly stopped but cutting surely was not the easiest thing to beat. But it’s funny how we can tell ourselves now that it does get better. ✨

  15. I can relate so much to this.. self belief and appreciation is something to teach yourself and stick to it😊. Always remember you’ve came so far.. Stay strong👌💜

  16. I have occasionally self harmed. Never really been a cutter, but I will pinch or hit myself, or even bite myself when the emotions get too much to deal with. I try hard not to do those things, but once in a while I slip.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.