On Wednesday’s “Real World: Cancun” episode, cast member Ayiiia Elizarraras reveals her struggle with cutting, a battle she has been fighting since she was 13.
“It’s a very controversial episode,” Elizarraras told AccessHollywood.com earlier this week. “There are roommates that are very supportive of the situation and a few that do realize that this is a serious problem. And there are other roommates that just throw the typical, ‘She wants attention, this isn’t serious.’ ”
Elizarraras said prior to appearing on the MTV reality show, she was in control of her urge to self-mutilate.
“A year-and-a-half before the show, before I went to Cancun, I was very healthy, I was very levelheaded and I was surrounded by people that I love, that support me, so I didn’t really have to get an outlet, to kind of let me get my stress out,” she explained. “But being in Cancun, and living with seven strangers who you have no idea about, they all grew up in different ways, they all have different morals and different beliefs … it was definitely very difficult. And especially being attacked in certain ways … it brought a lot to me.”
Following her cutting incident, “Real World” producers offered Elizarraras professional help, but the reality starlet said she chose to deal with it in a different way.
“After that situation, I kind of let it go. I started to deal with my stress in a better way. I started working out more, I started taking jogs on the beach, and I started listening to my iPod when I could. I started to draw and paint and tried to let my stress out in different ways …instead of that,” she told Access.
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Since returning from Cancun, where she said she was often “very liquored up” and described as a “very very hard” situation, Elizarraras said she has not cut herself.
“I haven’t relapsed whatsoever. I’m just not put in those situations,” she told Access. “I definitely know what to do if I am put in those situations, and I definitely try to let it out in a different way.”
The 22-year-old said she has already been contacted by others experiencing similar struggles with cutting.
“I have received MySpace, Facebook and Twitter messages about people going through the same thing, and they’re like, ‘I am so glad you brought it out to everyone’s attention,’ ” she continued. “This is something positive that has been brought out, because people sometimes do feel alone and they just need to know that they are not alone. There are so many people dealing with the same thing.”
Elizarraras’ struggle with cutting was not something she divulged to the “Real World” producers prior to the show.
“They actually had no clue about it,” she told Access. “They knew I dealt with a lot of personal stuff in the past, but the last thing on their minds was that this was going to come out on the show. And they were very supportive and helpful throughout the entire way. I appreciate them so much.”