Wednesday, 1 March 2017

"What I want you to know about self harm"

*Trigger warning: Self harm*

Today is Self Injury awareness day. Unfortunately self harm is still hugely misunderstood and there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding it. However, instead of telling you these misconceptions I asked people to share what it is they wished you knew about self harm:

Self harm won't make any sense to you, in fact it doesn't even make sense to me. So please don't ask me to explain it to you, there are no words for the feeling that paralyses me and takes over my brain making me feel that the only release is physical pain. Just know that I never wanted to hurt the people around me, I did not do it for attention (which is why my scars are in places you will never see) and that when the urges are there I am fighting an intense internal battle. I want you to know that self harm is not in the slightest an attempt to take ones life, in fact it allows many to keep on going. Also please know that self harm does not make a person crazy, it doesn't make any logical sense to an outsider but for some bizarre reason it helps. - Me

So I wish people would know self harm isn't attention seeking in the slightest. It's simply finding a way to cope with super intense feelings, and instead of burdening other people (by the way, mental illness is never a burden) we take it out on ourselves. It's not attention seeking,
it's care seeking. - Beth 

Yes, I know that I am hurting my body. Don't worry about it, I'll be okay afterwards.  Yes, I know that what I am doing is wrong and won't change anything. There is also nothing that you can do to make me change my mind, thank you for offering though. Yes, I am going to regret this later, but at this moment, this is all I can do to make myself feel something. I need to remember that I am a human being and I am supposed to feel emotions. I don't care if I can only feel my body hurting or my heart aching, I need to feel something. Yes, I know I am being selfish. But at the end of the day, the only one who is going to stick with me until the day I die is myself, not you and not anyone else. - Riska 

I wish people understood that we don't hurt ourselves for attention. Sometimes, its the only release we can find. Imagine waking up in the morning and feeling completely numb, and getting to the afternoon, then the evening and still feeling nothing. And then getting up the next day and having to do it all over again. When I hurt myself i'm not looking for attention. In fact nobody knows that I do it. I do it just to be able to feel something, and because i'm upset and frustrated with myself for feeling this way. - Anonymous 

Most people who self-injure aren't "attention whores". If someone is considering it, please try not to do it. What starts out as "only a couple of minor scratches", "just one quick burn", "just a little overdose", etc, often spirals down to worse. You get wrapped up by it and you "need" it. Please, don't start. Sadly self harm is common. Reach out. For your own sake and for the people around you. We need you to talk and we want you to know you aren't alone. - Nicole 

So I want to say that self harm isn't just this "emo thing" or something that people do to get attention. It's actually the opposite because a lot of the time, people will try to hide their scars even if they have stopped cutting. For me, it was a control thing. I felt I couldn't control what was happening in my life and I took it out on myself. I want to emphasise that NOBODY deserves that kind of treatment and it's heavily addictive so please never ever start. - Jasminder

I would like you to know that although self harm can be for attention, as a way of crying out for help, it isn't always and it therefore shouldn't be taken lightly. It's about feeling so physically and emotionally drained and low that the only thing you think you deserve is to be punished and harmed. I wish people realised the shame and embarrassment my scars bring to me, staring or making comments hurts so much more than people would think. - Anonymous 

Self harm is an unusual and confusing mindset to be in because you know the action of self harming won't make things better or remove any problems but the idea of pain is something that satisfies me in some way. The thing that prevents me from doing it is that it might be obvious to others and I don't want to be considered an attention seeker, because that is not the reason I would do it. - Anonymous

Self harm isn't any form of attention seeking, and I know for a fact, people who self harm don't want to. Some people do it to punish themselves, others do it as a release of all their emotions. It's extremely hard for someone to talk about their experiences of self harm, and the stigma around it doesn't help at all. Self harm can affect anyone, any age, any race, any gender. It's very hard and scary when loved ones find out you self harm, but it's good to have people who understand or attempt to understand so that they can guide you through recovery. - Liam

I  wish everyone knew that people who self harm aren't attention- seekers, since most of them keep it hidden, but if word gets out then they must be doing it for attention. And instead of getting help and support, they get judged and pushed away. I've heard so many people talk about self-harm with disgust and disdain, but with absolutely no understanding of what it is and how someone can come to it. I once shared my suicidal thoughts and the intention to hurt myself and I was laughed at, not taken seriously, thinking I was simply saying it to get their attention. I also wish it was more well- known that self harm isn't necessarily cutting your wrists, it can be in so many other places, and through other means. It isn't simply an emo-teenager phase, it's a sign that someone needs help to cope with whatever they are going through. I hope that soon people will be more educated and open minded about mental health and that self-harm won't be seen as something shameful or taboo, and that we'll all be able to talk freely about it. - Anonymous 

I've been trying to think of a way to end this post but I don't think anything could be nearly as powerful as the words of these brave people. So please if you know someone who self harms, give them a hug, tell them you are there for them and that you won't judge them for it. 
And if you are currently going through self harm then please know that you are not alone, that you can beat this, that there is help and support out there and that "something will grow from all that you are going through and it will be you." 

If you would like more information on self harm then please check out this website:

1 comment :

  1. These are all super great! I started self harming my senior year in high school. For the longest my girlfriend was the only one who knew and a few friends who also self harmed (we all kinda formed a group to help each other). After a while my gf convinced me to tell my dad so that I could start getting help. Everything around recovery takes strength. Never think you're weak because of this. It simply means you've been strong for longer than was bearable.