[Aidan] Monday, the 1st. Hi, my name’s Aidan. I’m seventeen years old, and I’m a cutter. I’ve been cutting for 4 years. And, apparently I’m starting counselling today. I was being stupid, and my parents walked in, and now, here I am. The counsellor has ordered me, yes, literally ordered me, to start a diary. For the next 21 Days, as I break my habit, you’re going to have to deal with my whining, little notebook.
What happened was, my wrists were covered, and my mom came home for a surprise visit, which never happens, and suddenly I’m getting sent into my high school’s baby rehab. It was that, or the mental hospital, and I honestly wondered for a while.
The counsellor brought me in, and he took my wrist, and he drew a little red star on my wrist. And he told me that he wanted me to wear the star until I went three weeks without cutting. Then, I could wear an orange star. Until then, hello Diary. Wait, no, journal. Yeah, journal. We’re gonna be the bestest of friends for the next 3 weeks. ... Yaaay.
[Tony] Tuesday, the 2nd. hi, my name is tony. I’m seventeen years old. I’m a football quarterback. I weigh 263 pounds, and i’m 5’11. i don’t like eating, and i regularly go days without meals. i didn’t know this covered as self harm. i just didn’t think i should eat. i’m not really hungry. And if I eat food, I just get fatter. I shouldn’t get fatter, I should get more muscular. I should just work out. Never eat.
It was going just fine. One good meal a week was enough to keep me going. Then, yesterday, I was in the gym, I hadn’t eaten in a week or two, and apparently, that was enough to make me pass out. My coach flipped out and called the paramedics, and i was in the hospital for a few hours, and then dad ended up tossing me into my school counsellors room. He had me draw a little purple star on my wrist, and told me i had to go three weeks, of 3 meals a day, and redo this star on my wrist every morning.
After I break my habit, I’m allowed to draw an orange star, instead. I hate this, already. I’m not allowed to exercise, unless I’ve hit all my calorie/vitamin things for the day.
[Mary] Wednesday, the 3rd. Hi, my name is Mary. Um, I’m seventeen, and I burn myself. I still remember how it started. I got a C, when I was 12, and I think I just... Felt that God was angry with me. I felt like He wanted me to burn in Hell for it, so... I did. I don’t know what I was thinking at the time, I just did it. But, this morning, I went to go visit my school counsellor. I dunno, I guess that I just had an epiphany. It’s like... I shouldn’t be punishing myself. I don’t have the right to punish myself. Only God is allowed to punish. I shouldn’t be. But, I can’t quit. So, I went to the counsellor. He gave me a little blue star on my wrist, and said it was there to remind me that I wanted to quit. He told me to redraw it every morning. He also said I could get an orange on when I go my three weeks. Did you know it takes 3 weeks to break a habit? I didn’t. I think it should take longer. It also seems backwards to me. Blue star for burning, and orange for being over it? I guess it’s a bit weird. But blue is a hotter flame, so... I’m also supposed to write a journal daily. But, I don’t know how to end anything, so I guess I’ll end this one.
[Serena] Thursday, the 4th. I’m gonna hate myself even more, now. I know, I know, I’m getting into this, BECAUSE I hate myself, but now I will even more. The counsellor was really stupid. I told him all the garbage I’ve done to myself, and he just drew a little black star on my wrist, told me to wear it for three weeks, and write in a journal daily. Then, I get to wear an orange star, instead. Yay.
[Aidan] Friday, the 5th. I kinda thought that if I just waited until mom left again, and forgot about all this, I would just go back to cutting. But, she took ALL my razors (yeah, I had a lot). And she’s having dad keep an eye on me constantly. Which is, of course, a lovely experience for both of us. I don’t think I’ve had a conversation with him since middle school.
[Tony] Saturday, the 6th. Y’know, I’ve never realized just how much I hate eating. I always thought I just hated gaining weight. Really, I also hate eating. And food. Like, why am I putting this stuff in my mouth? I hate cheese, especially. Why am I putting myself through this, again? Oh. Right. I’m not.
[Mary] Sunday, the 7th. It itches. They don’t really talk about that. The burns, I mean. Not only when they’re healing, but when you want to burn, your old burns itch. Like they want more. I want more. Maybe He wants me, too. ... No. Can’t think like that anymore.
[Serena] Monday, the 8th. Apparently, it’s a bad idea to hang out with the kids who smoke in the back, by the tree, when you’re “in recovery”. What do I have to recover from? It’s not like I was hurting other people. Just me. What’s wrong with that?
[Aidan] Tuesday, the 9th. This sucks. Dad even follows me into the bathroom when I have to shave, just to make sure I’m not breaking open the razor. I don’t even know why they’re doing this. It’s not like they’ve cared before.
[Tony] Wednesday, the 10th. I need to run. I really do. I haven’t even been allowed to lift weights. If my dad sees my curling my books, he yells at me. And he watches me eat. It’s extremely creepy.
[Mary] Thursday, the 11th. I read online that music helps, but I don’t think there’s anything I like. I mean, I want loud, angry music, because that’s how I feel. But, at the same time, I feel sad, and angry with myself for being angry at all. Maybe a violin?
[Serena] Friday, the 12th. Okay, okay, I skipped a few days. Like, the whole week, after Monday. Not just the journal, but all school. Didn’t relapse, into ANY of my vices, though. Except cursing. Cursing doesn’t count. I should explain there are a lot of vices. I drink, I smoke, I’m... Active, I smoke weird things, I smoke a lot of things. My lungs are probably as black as this star on my wrist. And I’m vaguely suicidal for all of it. I think that’s all there is to be said.
[Aidan] Saturday, the 13th. ... Maybe they’re right. It’s kinda nice not being dependent on something, I still crave it. I still want that little sting. But now it’s not as insistent. It’s more constant, but less insistent.
[Tony] Sunday, the 14th. Apparently, dad thinks I’m going to start vomiting up all my food. He’s requested (demanded) that i never flush the toilet in my house again, to make sure i’m not vomiting into it. I mean, c’mon. I already tried that. Vomiting feels weird. even worse than food.
[Mary] Monday, the 15th. I threw out all my matches today, and it felt good and horrible. Happy that I did it, almost.. Proud of myself. But, also really angry, because now I need them. Now everything is conflicted, and I want it so bad.
[Serena] Tuesday, the 16th. So, it’s been a long day. School sucks, and
weekends suck even more when you don’t get to go to parties. I haven’t gotten to go to a party since I got this little star on. I’d be fine. I wouldn’t drink much, or smoke anything, or do anyone. ... Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t go to parties.
[Aidan] Wednesday, the 17th. Okay, never mind. I hate this. I need it. I want it. My entire arm physically aches. It’s like phantom pains.
[Tony] Thursday, the 18th. ... Food isn’t as bad as it could be, I guess. I kinda like spaghetti. I’ve talked with my counsellor, he says that dieting is okay, but not eating isn’t. So, I used the internet. I now have a full diet, and exercise plan. I’m going back to football next week, thank god.
[Mary] Friday, the 19th. I hate wearing this star, I really do. It’s like a testament to what I’ve done. I’ve already got the burns all along my body, now I need to wear a star to prove it? ... I guess that’s the point, really. Owning it, and making the mistake mine, rather than hiding it with hoodies, and shame.
[Serena] Saturday, the 20th. So, I met a girl at school yesterday, and I don’t think I’ve ever once noticed her. Little girl in a cardigan, wearing a blue star. I don’t think she really paid much attention to me. I’m just a person in the background. Maybe that’s why I’m a “party girl”. But, she really did help. She made me realize other people have similar problems. I didn’t ask about her star, and she didn’t ask about mine. We just talked at lunch. ... Maybe I’ll join her at her church tomorrow.
[Aidan] Monday, the 21st. Tomorrow, I’m done with this. I’m going to “forget” to write a journal thingy tomorrow. I’m getting my orange star, out of rehab. Done with all this garbage. Good-bye, journal garbage.
[Tony] Tuesday, the 22nd. I Get my orange star, tomorrow. It’s over. No more starving. No more exercising until I vomit and faint. I’ve been gaining muscle mass, now. With this new diet, I’m more focused, more intense, and a lot happier. Dad’s proud of me, and, I’m proud of me.
[Mary] Wednesday, the 23rd. Today, I went to morning mass before school. It felt really good. Tomorrow, I’m getting my orange star, and this’ll all be over. I think I’m going to continue this diary, though. It feels good to get things out on paper, rather than taking everything out on me.
[Serena] Thursday, the 24th. I saw her at church yesterday morning. I might’ve maybe gone everyday looking for her. I don’t know why. I didn’t stay long, but I got to sit next to her that day. Prayed with her. I’ve never really been a believer, seen and done too much. But, I guess, if she’s into it, I’ll join her for it. I don’t think she really gets that it hasn’t even been a week, but she’s helped a lot. Tomorrow, I get my orange star. And no more journal.
[Counsellor Notes] Friday, the 25th. Today, I finished up the last of my current students. That was the biggest rush I’ve ever had. Four, all at once. All in self harm, but, I saw remarkable improvement in three of them. The first of them, Aidan, seems the most likely to relapse, but the other three are extremely well adjusted and going quite well. They all earned their orange star. I just finished off all of their “Discharge” type paperwork things. They’re officially done... Except maybe Aidan.