Sharp blades and Band-Aids

Be advised that the content in this story contains self-harm and suicide, and may be triggering to some readers. 


My mom cried when she saw the scars littering my arms and stomach for the first time. She knew something was wrong. I couldn’t even look her in the eye as I showed her what I had done to myself. All I could feel was the shame.

How could I explain that the hours after midnight I spent with a razor blade in hand, were the only times I felt any kind of happiness. 

The idea of losing my friend wrecked me. I understood how easy it was to give up on yourself.”

— Roslyn Dobbins

How could I explain the sickness in my head that I had fallen in love with. 

How could I explain the calmness in my head I only felt when I had blood dripping down my arms. 

Even now I struggle to put into words the pride I felt at the awful things I was doing. I felt like I was doing the right thing. How do you explain that to anyone?

That in my twisted middle school mind, what I was doing made sense. That to me, there was no way out of this alive. Hurting myself and wanting to end everything may seem like two different things, but to me they go hand-in-hand. One thought does not come without the other.

I could feel myself divide, in a way. I knew what I was doing was wrong, yet I loved it. It felt so good letting myself fade away. It was just so easy to let go.

Why couldn’t everyone around me just let me die?


It’s a question I wasn’t able to answer until more recently. For the first time a friend opened up to me about similar feelings, and I wish I could explain the frantic fear I felt then. 

The idea of losing my friend wrecked me. I understood how easy it was to give up on yourself. When you see someone begin to sink like that, you feel more than helpless. It was then I realized I was feeling what those around me had felt. 


When everything peaked in middle school, my friends noticed. Between the self-deprecating comments and the drops of blood I left on my sleeves, it was obvious. My friends tip-lined me more than once, and each time I would be sent down I felt angry and betrayed. 

I was quick to reassure the counselor and my parents that evening when they got the call from the school.

“I’m okay.”

“There’s nothing wrong.”

“I’m just tired.”

I drafted one lie after another to draw them away from the real issue.

This became a pattern. My friends would tip-line me, I would pacify the counselor, and then my parents. But after a while they didn’t believe me anymore. 

I couldn’t hide it any longer, and my parents found me a therapist to address my issues. The problem with being forced into therapy was that I was still convinced I didn’t need any help. I so badly wanted to do this all on my own, but I’m telling you right now, it can’t be done. Healing requires help. It also requires patience. 

No one ever talks about this, but it can take time to find the right therapist. The first one I saw wasn’t the right one for me, and it took me some time to realize that because I thought it wouldn’t matter which therapist I saw. 

I wish I’d known all these things before, so I’m saying them now in hopes that it helps someone reading this.


Healing would’ve been easier if I had a single moment in my life I could point to that made me feel this way. It’s easier for me to accept the things that happen, when I know what caused it.  Life is rarely that simple though. I still have no idea why it all happened, even after years of poring over my past.

Though I don’t know why everything imploded, I guess I learned things from it.

I learned how easy it is to give up on yourself. When you are sitting on your dirty bathroom floor sobbing and gasping for air because you feel like you are a burden to everyone around you, all you want to do is give in. 

Healing would’ve been easier if I had a single moment in my life I could point to that made me feel this way.”

— Roslyn Dobbins

I also learned the importance of not giving up. I couldn’t realize how awful it is to watch someone do that to themselves, until I was in that situation.

I’m doing better than I have in years. I’ve found that journaling helped me to really address how I feel, and allowed me to have a healthy outlet for my problems. I am able to make myself happy, instead of looking for happiness through other people. 

I didn’t realize until I started healing the importance of enjoying all the small moments that make up our lives. The moments I get to sit with my cat, or laugh with my friends, or eat a piece of strawberry cake. They may seem small, but when I started letting myself be happy about small things, living starts to feel a whole lot easier.