Teenagers today face pressures unheard of by our parents’ generation. All too often these pressures lead young people to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, this need not be the case. There are various alternative methods of dealing with the stresses and strains of young adulthood. My Anti-Drug is cutting myself.
Naturally, we all feel the soul-crushing despair of being utterly alone in a cold and indifferent universe. But using mind-altering drugs to escape reality is not a healthy way of coping. I’ve found that the best way of dealing with my vague but pervasive sense of existential dread is to externalize those feelings as physical pain via self-mutilation. The cathartic, almost erotic process of bloodletting leads to a sense of grim satisfaction unequaled by any controlled substance. What mind-numbing intoxicant could compete with the perfect awareness found only in the exquisite agony of the blade?
So too, the permanence of the marks left gives one a real sense of accomplishment, and serves as a poetic counterpoint to the ephemeral nature of joy. The solace found in a drug high is transient; my scars I take with me to the grave. Each self-inflicted wound is a badge of honor representing another bongload or spleef that could have jeopardized my dreams of varsity athletics, eventual home ownership, or (crossing my fingers) real love. As I admire the strangely beautiful network of scars that crisscrosses the unpolluted temple of my body, I can’t help but feel pride in the sheer number of “British Columbian bullets” I’ve dodged.
We all face problems and pain in our lives, and at times the temptation to use can be strong. But I’m happy to say that, thanks to cutting, I am Drug-Free and Proud To Be! So take that, Dad!