Self harm is something that I don’t think is spoken about enough. Struggling mentally often can lead people to unhealthy coping mechanisms, and a common one is self harm.
You see, it often feels like the only times people actually talk about self mutilation on social media platforms, it’s either a tumblr-esque glamorisation of the matter or it’s simply brushed over, as though it isn’t really an issue at all. The amount of times I’ve heard people calling others attention seekers for posting things about self destructive behaviours makes me sick, because in a lot of ways them wanting people to be aware of what they’re doing is actually a form of asking for help, for asking people to be aware of their situation.
It’s a tricky and sensitive topic, I would go into school with cuts on my legs and my neck, and people would sometimes ask me what they were, and I’d answer saying it was a cat or that I just ‘woke up’ with them, because it’s a lot easier than the self harm conversation.
It took me a long time to actually open up about hurting myself, because of the fear of people judging me or changing their perspective of me, but once I did, even just a little way it made me feel better. It always helps to remember that you aren’t alone (I used to HATE being told this, but when it’s said, it’s not to belittle your own personal experience at all, but to instead make sure you know that you have support and other people have beaten/dealt with it so you can too).
I haven’t really self harmed in months, after a period of time where I’d do it very often. It’s always been a form of ‘self-punishment’ to me, but I’ve realised that it’s not ok. It’s not okay to torture myself because I’m upset, it’s not okay for me to cry myself to sleep because I’m in pain from self given injuries. I’m not embarrassed by my scars, nor should anyone be, but I refuse to add anymore. I love myself and I refuse to cause myself suffering like that. Now whenever I feel like hurting myself, I get out the things I’d use, put them next to me on my bed, look at myself in the mirror (at this point I’ll usually look a bit of a wreck), and talk to myself as though I’m talking to a friend. I calm myself down and soothe myself and remind myself that hurting my body doesn’t solve anything, and I don’t want the stinging or having to see the damage I’ve done on my body for days afterwards.
I don’t want to be preachy, and I don’t want to give *not very good* advice. When self harming becomes a coping mechanism- it’s naïve to think it can just be switched off (or give the advice ‘have you ever tried holding ice cubes’). But don’t be embarrassed to talk about it, to be open, fuck anyone that makes you feel bad about speaking up, because that kind of negativity is a general life no-no anyway. And if you see your pal with what looks to be self harm marks, you’re allowed to ask them if they’re ok, and just be there for people you think might need you!
You’re all better than punishing your body, and even though some days it’s easy to forget it, self harming doesn’t fix a single thing.
Meh, sorry to anyone this isn’t relevant to, but it’s about time that this taboo is shattered.
P.s. Happy new year!!!