Everybody deals with an inner demon of some sort. My inner demon was a constant battle of depression and anxiety that I have suffered with for a long time. I first struggled with my silent depression when my parents divorced when I was very young. The divorce complicated my childhood, with moving around Southern California so much that I was forced to make new friends half way through every school year up until the age of eleven. Depression and anxiety settled in me quickly, but I concealed them at first.
Finally, when I reached middle school, my life was much more stable for me when my mother remarried, but I still had a hard time finding myself. Self-esteem issues quickly began to arise and I lost confidence in myself and any of my accomplishments. I would constantly put myself down if my hair wasn’t perfect, if my skin wasn’t flawless enough, or if my science projects weren’t pristine compared to my classmates. When I first started high school I joined many clubs and different activities to keep myself busy, but my home life was too stressful and I eventually fell behind. I slowly dropped out of clubs, stayed home sick more often until I was engulfed by unexplainable fatigue.
At the age of sixteen I had a huge fight with my father that severed our relationship, causing even more of my depression and anxiety to build deeper inside of myself. After no longer having any contact with my father I began to self-destruct. I lost interest in school and I ditched most of my classes or wouldn’t show up for school at all. I started to hang out with a much older crowd, and I began to feel like I belonged. However, my home life began to overwhelm me so much that my anxiety boiled over into emotional, conflicting pain that I couldn’t process or dismiss. In order to counter my emotional anxiety that I was having, my inner demon slowly began surfacing inside of me, leading me into a downward spiral where I started physically hurting myself with a razor blade.
When I felt overwhelmed I immediately drove the blade into my skin in order to have control over the pain I would feel. Cutting my arms or legs began to feel pleasurable to me since I could finally mask the emotional chaos that I felt daily. In addition, I started drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco under age. I was at home less and less while I started hanging out with my older friends more often. I immersed myself in their lives and problems in order to help hide my own inner demons from myself. I thought distracting myself with everybody else’s worries was normal, and letting me forget the torment of my little dark secret.
As months went by I had to push the razor deeper into my skin and cut myself more often, sometimes reopening wounds that didn’t have time to fully heal. My inner demon was emerging more and taking control to the point that I was losing myself. At the age of nineteen I drank myself into a situation that my emotional state could not escape from with physical pain. My life lost purpose and I could not find the strength to carry on. I sealed my fate when I took a bottle of painkillers and sleeping pills, hoping that I could drift off into sweet nothingness.
However, fate had other plans for me when my friend came by my apartment, found me nearly unconscious, and called for an ambulance. While I was recovering in the hospital, my friend explained to me that she didn’t know what compelled her to come by that day, but she had a strong feeling that she needed to see me. My inner demon subsided for the time, but did not go away forever. With proper help and healthy relationships, I have been able to keep my inner demon under control, but I bear the scars of what I have to struggle with inside of me every day.