After frantically searching and looking, I found a blade at my grandmother’s house that I could use. It was an old eyeliner pencil sharpener that is fortunately not rusty and still relatively sharp. She had some other old ones that were rusty and a newer one that she uses, and I was not going to take a chance with a rusty blade or using something that she uses often for proper purposes. I unfortunately gave into the urge and cut just minutes before my mother was arriving to pick me up to take me to a dental appointment I think. I hid them with a bandage and bracelets, so she wouldn’t see and ask about them.

A few days later, when I was out shopping with my grandmother, I picked up a manual pencil sharpener so as not to seem too suspicious if my grandmother were to see what I was buying, and I’m almost positive she didn’t. After prying the blades out, I never actually used them; I have just kept one stored in my phone case so that I have it nearby if I feel I need to use it. I don’t think I was quite ready back in April to get rid of my old ones because I hadn’t established a set replacement for it and didn’t have anything to fall back on if things were to get too much and too overwhelming.

Because things were getting particularly difficult to cope with and I really needed to talk to someone, I scheduled a session with Hank on the 21st, and planned to see some school friends while I was out there. Marie and I had talked beforehand, and she told me that she was wanting to go see our friend Lora, so we made our plans for the same day and drove up there together. My session with Hank was scheduled for 9am, so we had to leave at about 6:30am.

When we got there, I waited for twenty minutes or so until I got a phone call from Hank saying that his car wouldn’t start. We rescheduled for 12pm later that day, so Marie and I went to a nearby Starbucks, so she could study while we waited. She was originally going to study at the library while I was in session, but we forgot to check what time the library opened.

At 12pm, Marie dropped me off at the office and went down to the library. The majority of the session was very productive, but the end was kind of disappointing. We talked about my self harm towards the beginning, and Hank asked if I would allow him to see my cuts. I told him that he could and pulled my bracelets further up my wrist, revealing my wounds. I was expecting him to just look at them from his chair, but he actually got up and asked if he could come over to sit next to me to look at them, then asked if he could hold/touch my wrist. I allowed him, but at first, I kind of felt uncomfortable with the physical contact as I hadn’t had any sort of physical contact with anyone in a while, so it felt vaguely foreign and unsettling/distressing, but as he continued to hold my hand and wrist and touch around my cuts, those feelings of uneasiness faded. I don’t know exactly what word to use, but it was like “Hey, I’m here for you, and I care about you; it’s okay.” Comforting, maybe? That word doesn’t seem right, but similar to that. Safe might be a better word to describe it. It felt similar to the hug I mentioned before.

We then talked about that experience and why I thought he asked to see them and to touch around them. I attempted a guess, but I didn’t know, so he told me it was about trust and all that. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but I do know that I trust him and feel safer with him more than I originally thought. Towards the end of our session, he asked me about something, though I don’t remember what it was about, and I tried to answer but it was like I didn’t know how to speak again. I sat there for maybe fifteen minutes or longer in silence up to the end of our session because my voice wouldn’t work. I left his office, feeling like a complete failure because I couldn’t speak at the end. I walked to the library to meet Marie and to wait for Matt.

When I found Marie, I couldn’t speak, and then when Matt showed up, I still couldn’t talk. To communicate, I texted both of them, and Matt and I went outside to talk and catch up. I was able to talk after a little while, and he and I sat there for maybe three hours talking. We met up with several other friends, like Bethany and Olive, and Marie came outside too. I hung out with them for the next few hours until Marie was ready to go home which was about 6:30pm.

Reflecting back on that session with Hank, I feel like I have finally convinced my mind/self that he is a safe person and that his office is a safe place. I think I’m getting close to the point where I can be more comfortable with him and in his office so that I can talk and sort of explain the things that are going on. I’ve also been thinking about the things that I believe are the most important to talk about, and I’ve been getting better about actually bringing those things up. There are still many things I need and want to bring up that I will hopefully share eventually.

Before this adventure, my sister and I went to a Twenty One Pilots concert. Now normally, a concert would be literal hell for me, but because their music helped me through the hell that is my mind, I had to be there, with all those people just like me, fighting their demons and using this music as encouragement to stay alive. This concert was one of the best nights I’ve ever had, so much so that I don’t even have the words to explain how much I enjoyed it. At the end of every concert, they play their song Trees, and the lead singer speaks about what the concert is, how it’s a celebration that we’re here and still alive. They’re really the only band I listen to because nothing can compare to how their music has spoken to me and helped me. They’ve helped save my life countless times, and I’ve yet to find anyone like them.

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