By Draco Malfoy,
Richey James Edwards, a musician who was the celebrity most up front with his self-injurious behavior, was born on December 22, 1967. He grew up under his grandmother's care in Blackwood until he was thirteen because his parents could not afford to take care of him. He joined the band, "The Manic Street Preachers," after they had funded their first single, "Suicide Alley."
While in the band Richey suffered from deepening alcoholism and anorexia, he also went through long bouts of depression and insomnia, and self-injury. He had suffered from self-injury since he was a teenager. On May 15, 1991 Richey carved "4 Real" on his forearm with a razor blade. The wound required seventeen stitches, and was done while Richey was involved in a discussion with an NME Live Reviews Editor at the Time. The next day he called and apologized and explained his behavior, "I tried talking to Steve for an hour to explain ourselves [The Manic Street Preachers]...I didn't abuse him or insult him. I just cut myself. To show that we are no gimmick, that we are pissed off. That we are for real." By the end of 1993 he had started stubbing cigarettes out on his arm and was drinking heavily. Also, at an April 1994 concert in Bangkok, Thailand, he appeared with his chest slashed open by knives a fan had sent him. In July of 1994, after having been missing for forty-eight hours and drinking and self-injuring during this time, Richey entered a rehabilitation clinic and stayed ten weeks.
On February 1, 1995 leaves the Embassy Hotel he was staying at, stopped at his Cardiff apartment, and disappeared, leaving behind his passport and credit cards. He was reported missing and his abandoned car was found on the Severn Bridge, a place notorious for suicides. Police presumed he was dead by the time summer came around. People still wonder if Richey is still alive and occasionally there are "sightings" of him.
"When I cut myself I feel so much better. All the little things that might have been annoying me suddenly seem so trivial because I'm concentrating on the pain. I'm not a person who can scream and shout so this is my only outlet. It's all done very logically."
(Siamese Animal Men - NME)
"It's about people who take their frustration out on everyone around them. I never raise my voice. Cutting myself or hurting myself is the way I deal with anger."
('Manic Frustration' - Kerrang!)
"I think it's quite common. It's on the increase. It's all about self-discipline. Like, self-obsession is connected completely with self-loathing, and it's the same with, um, if you've got a weight problem. It's all about... finding some worth in yourself, knowing that you've got the discipline to do it, and knowing that other people maybe can't do it. And it's also, I think, really connected to the fact that you almost feel, like, silent, you have no voice, you're mute, there's just no, you've got no option' Even if you could express yourself nobody would listen anyway' Things that go on inside you, there's no other way to get rid of them.
I mean, I've been in clinics where there's been lots of people who've cut themselves and abused themselves, physically and violently. It's pretty common, it's clichéd amongst people who do it that when they do it they don't actually feel any pain. You know, even when you're maybe having stitches in your body and things have been done to you, it doesn't matter. You're in a frame of mind where it really does not hurt.
You know, maybe a few days later you get a certain amount of pain as the skin starts to heal, but when you're in that frame of mind it's really natural. It's the only logical thing to do. Otherwise you feel you could almost do something to another person, and that is something that I would - again, like I said, I would never ever take it out on somebody else. Maybe the things I do, it's more concerned with the fact that I don't like myself very much, and so I would not expect anyone else to judge me that highly; so if I discipline myself I can feel relatively content with my mental state and my physical state. If I can balance those two then I feel OK, and I'm not really worried what people think about me. Because I judge myself harsher, and on more strict terms, than they ever could probably. I - I think. Mm." (Villa 65 - Dutch Radio)
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