Finally, something I can support!
As most of you know, I was a cutter, but there are many other ways people hurt themselves. Here’s a few of them:
- cutting or scratching your skin
- burning or scalding yourself
- hitting yourself
- punching things or throwing yourself into things as hard as you can
- bruising and breaking bones
- sticking objects into your body (a lot of people consider piercing to be “self harm”, I’ve come to find that it’s more of a… replacement method)
- purposely preventing wounds from healing/infecting yourself
- swallowing hazardous object (such as pills or bleach)
- some forms of hair pulling
Self harm also includes things that are lesser known about, like intentionally putting yourself in danger, ie., driving recklessly, engaging in risky or illegal activities, binge drinking, binge eating, starving yourself, and even unsafe/casual sex.
Did you know that 1 in 10 of us self harm? You are not alone. Do not feel crazy or ashamed (and no, you’re not a “freak”), there are people that understand and if you want to, you can stop.
Self harm, like anything else, usually has a reason for being started:
- not being listened to
- feeling hopeless
- feeling isolated or alone
- feeling out of control
- feelings of powerlessness
- obviously depression!
Of course, there are other reasons. Then, you get to the root of the problem and find that, maybe you were like me, you did it for pain release because you couldn’t cry, or you were so numb you wanted to know if you were still alive; if you bleed, you live.
There is hope.
What can you do? Here’s the cliché, but talking really helps. Having someone that you trust can mean the world. Did you know that I’ve stopped cutting for a year, all because I made a promise to the man I love? I’ve struggled, but it’s possible, see!? Whether you go through with 1 on 1 professional therapy, go through group therapy, or talk to someone close to you, talking can help almost anything. If you’re going through with therapy, finding the right therapist is absolutely crucial. Find someone you can trust, are comfortable with, and isn’t a complete quack!
If you’re a cutter or burner, having a rubber band on your wrist to slap when you’re feeling “in the mood” has been known to help. If you don’t like the rubber band idea, you could rub ice up and down your “spots” until it hurts. Trust me, ice hurts.
There’s also something called “To Write Love on Her Arms”. You might want to check that out. It has become quite popular. There was also this lovely story of drawing butterflies on your arms (no, not everyone cuts their arms, but it’s the principle), and if you cut, you kill the butterflies, someone else drawing them on you means they’re more special, etc. These are all good techniques to trick your brain.
If you tend to swallow things, replace that with something else. Drink water, or eat something.
If you tend to hit yourself or other objects (or people!), consider kickboxing or an intense workout where you can get out that pent up anger.
Did you know 1 in 3 people who self harm will do so again within a year? We’re also more likely to kill ourselves.
The first 6 months are the hardest.
Consider keeping a diary or listening to music to bring you out of it. See if you can ride out the storm, it’s amazing what you’re capable of! Do anything in your power to distract yourself, whether you go and sit with family members/friends or draw, or watch a movie, or if you game, do that. Anything at all. Do something you enjoy, when you distract your brain and keep busy, the want to self-harm goes down.
So why stop?
You don’t need to hurt yourself. I know, it helps, it hurts, sometimes we feel like we need to be tortured. We don’t. You have people that love you. I don’t care if you’re the smelliest homeless man there is, somebody out there loves you. I know that it feels like people don’t care, but they do, and you should care too.
What triggers you to hurt yourself? This is much like having bipolar disorder, you figure out what triggers you and you can be successful. I’ll be honest, it’s impossible to live without stress… unless you live on a deserted island, but I’m guessing if you have internet, you don’t! Self harm is a way of dealing with emotional pain. What causes yours? Are you angry? Sad? Lonely? Guilty? Ashamed?
Get in touch with your feelings.
If you can’t answer why you’re hurting yourself (or maybe you just want a taste of death without going over?), you need to work on your emotional awareness. If you can figure out how you feel, you can go back and identify and possibly even succeed with stopping!
There are other methods of coping, I promise. I’m just a text on the screen, but if you ever need a friend, I’m here! Helping people is what I was born to do.
Sometimes, we just need that helping hand. I’m not going to lie to you, if you’re depressed, there’s a good chance you’ll always deal with it in some form, but it can be managed and you can overcome it.
It gets better, I promise.