My KDL Story: Cynthia Worden

"It was really, really rough for a while. I couldn't find anything that would take away the needing to cut. The library did. I get into a book, and that's where I'm living..."

Cynthia Worden

When Cynthia Worden tells you she doesn't think she could have made it without the library, she isn't exaggerating.

The Walker teen has been a "cutter" since she was 12 — someone who copes with stress and negative feelings through self-mutilating behavior.

Her first assignment out of treatment: find a healthy outlet, professionals told her — something that will occupy you. Long an avid reader, Cynthia went online for information, but that proved to be overwhelming, she said, a lot of opinion vs. straight information.

"We made an agreement that she wouldn't Google it anymore," said her mother, Michelle. "What she was reading online was just making her more upset."

Michelle said she and Cynthia consider the library a safe, non-judgmental place, so they tried the Walker branch first. At that branch and others, Cynthia found books that helped her better understand the condition, as well as those that helped her parents understand what their daughter was going through.

Today, she's focused on young adult fiction, her favorite being books by Ellen Hopkins. One day, she said, she wants to write a book of her own.

"It was really, really rough for a while," said Cynthia, now 17. "I couldn't find anything that would take away the needing to cut. The library did. I get into a book, and that's where I'm living."

Cynthia said she's sharing her story, name and all, because she would have appreciated reading about someone else's experience.

"I know there are others like me out there," she said. "The books I checked out had a lot of folded-over page corners, so I know they have been checked out before."

 

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