Self Harm & Substance Abuse

I haven’t written a blog in months and decided to sit down and talk about something I have never openly shared before. Many people see my online persona and only see me for that portrayal of my life. Still, behind the over-sexualized Kylie Karma persona, there is a girl who is human and struggles just as many problems as other people.

I always try to be authentic with my life and personal life, whether with my life struggles or positive transition updates. I have always used my blog as an open diary to let others get to know me on a more personal level.

Today is no exception to that. This has been something that I have struggled with for a while, and recently with the pandemic and isolation has become worse. I decided that I want to talk about my very personal struggle with self-harm and substance abuse. Both of which often happen together.

Just so there is no confusion I will break down the meaning of both self harm & substance abuse.

Self Harm: the act of purposely hurting oneself.

Substance Abuse:  pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes.

I always feared about openly talking about both of these because I often have felt like nobody would understand why I choose to do these things to myself. It is easy for someone who might not be in the same situations I have been, to not understand my way of dealing with strong emotions, which are often caused by stress, anxiety, depression, or self-esteem. Although I would never place blame on anyone else, usually, men in my life who have not treated me the best at times have also triggered these emotions or have made my mental health worse.

People think because I have a robust online persona that I am a strong, confident woman. I am not saying I’m not, but I certainly struggle with self-esteem and seeing my self-worth. Gender dysphoria plays a role in blinding me from seeing myself as beautiful or worthy of feeling the love. Likes, followers, shares, etc. will never be able to fill a void when you are not happy with yourself, and that is something I always struggle with as a trans woman.

My anxiety and depression often keep me in a place of not wanting to go in public; some days, I don’t even want to leave my bed. I recently got a personal trainer and joined the gym and that took me months to finally get the courage to do. Other days I can go places but feel uneasy in public settings unless I have a close friend or have alcohol in my system. I remember I wouldn’t even go to school dances when I was younger because my anxiety would keep me from public and crowds. Still, to this day, I honestly hate public spaces and large groups because of that. It causes my dysphoria to rage and my self-esteem to lower because I constantly worry about what I look like, if im passable, if other people are judging me, etc.

I first turned to alcohol to get a form of “liquid courage,” but it has since turned into a coping mechanism for dealing with many of my own struggles because it helps me become numb to my struggles even if just for the night or a weekend. Whenever I am in a bad place, I will turn to it to numb my pain and feel better.

If my emotional pain, my anxiety, depression, or self-esteem become extreme, I often will end up getting drunk and then resort to self-harm in the form of cutting myself to calm myself from the raging mix of emotions I am dealing with. Sometimes I do it simply to feel “alive” in the sense because there are times like I feel like I’m just existing and not alive or living. I will often sit down, drink hard liquor, and my intense emotions will come from how I feel about myself, how I have been treated, or betrayed by people that used to be in my life.

At first, I used to use whatever was nearby to cut, but eventually, that wasn’t satisfying me, so I started to buy items like box cutters, etc. and cut more profound and more extended. It became addicting for a while, and at the moment, it feels freeing, but the aftermath used to become an issue. I would deal with clothing rubbing and reopening my cuts; I would slip up in selfies and let my cuts appear and cause followers to question me, or even in person wearing less clothing in summer, I would have people ask me what my scars were from, all of which would ignite my self-esteem and fuel me to feel even worse about myself.

There have been times I told myself that I deserved to be in pain. I never really knew where to turn or who to talk to about it; the one close friend I spoke to about it to I would never want to burden with it, so I often brushed it off as “don’t worry, I’ll be fine” type of situation. There were times I got lower and felt like I needed to speak to a self-esteem or self-worth therapist to learn how to love myself more and deal with everything I was feeling.

The pandemic has undoubtedly heightened the frequency of my issues because I have often been isolating and I live alone, so when I am left with my thoughts for long periods, it is easy for my anxiety, depression, gender dysphoria, or self-esteem to bring me into a very dark place.

Lately, I have been trying to get up every day and go to the gym and start my days on an active, grateful, and busier note. Although I have not self-harmed in about a month, I will not say I have not thought about doing it; just as recently as this weekend, I used alcohol again to numb pain because I felt torn about some personal relationships in my life.

I still can’t believe I have written about this because its honestly not something I even enjoy talking about, but I feel like if I’m going to open up, I should highlight the good and bad parts.

Hopefully, my next blog will be more positive. xo