Self Harm

I originally posted this on my old blog about 4 years ago, I had lost everything I posted… but recently found a notebook with half my posts in, it is still very current.

When you are in the deepest, darkest pits of depression and your coping resources have run dry, its difficult to know what to do to try to continue to cope. Your judgement will be completely clouded, and things which you previously thought to be an unthinkable option, suddenly seem like such a good idea.

In this situation, some people, myself included, turn to harming themselves as a way to release the pain. It can take many forms including cutting, scratching, pulling hair out or overdosing. Very few people on the “outside” understand what is happening if they find out. Many will brand it as attention seeking, most people will insist that you stop, this only leads to guilt and worsening the pain.

A lot of the time, self harm is far from attention seeking, it is something they are very ashamed of and will go out of their way to try to hide. Sometimes it may well be attention seeking, but not necessarily in a bad way, it can be a cry for help. When you are stuck in the pit, it is a very lonely place, talking to someone is a very hard thing to do, it is a way of showing that you are badly hurting on the inside.

Most people who self harm will completely deny that there is any element of attention seeking, this may be the case most of the time, but there will always be people that do. They should never be frowned at, they need a bit of love and attention. Maybe they don’t want to talk, but just be acknowledged. Even something as simple as a hug can go a long way.

The worst thing you can do to someone who self harms is to insist that they stop. The guilt can be far too high and can lead to them starting to bottle up their emotions, inevitably this will get to a point where they will just have a breakdown, possibly with far worse consequences. Just offer a listening ear, company if they want it. Make sure they are being safe, the majority of self harmers will have no intention of killing themselves, they are just releasing their inner pain.

I am not a doctor, I have made no in depth research into the subject. I talk from experience from being on both sides. I used to self harm regularly, I look back at what I did with so much regret, yet I fully understand what happened, and in the situation that I was in, it was the lesser of two evils. I had the guilt of people telling me to stop, that almost pushed me to suicide on several occasions. It was the friends that stuck by me throughout out that pulled me through one of my darkest times. I now have the scars as a constant reminder of the valley that I went through.

I’m not quite sure why I’m talking in the past tense, the problem hasn’t gone away. I rarely self harm these days, I’ve come a long way yet occasionally I will still slip up. I’m terrified that I will start to slip back down on a slippery slope and end up back to where I started. I am a much stronger person now to what I was then, but nobody can be 100% strong all of the time. If the fragile outer shell that I have get broken, then I’m screwed.

I hope this helps if you know or ever meet anybody who self harms. If you are reading this and you harm yourself, just remember that the other side of the valley is never that far away!

 

8 Comments

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8 Responses to “Self Harm”
  1. ejbigred says:

    I just wanted to say, that I can identify with pretty much very word of this.
    I’m not ashamed of my self-harming scars anymore, in many ways i’m glad they are there because I believe that they saved my life. For me it emotional scars from self-harming are the ones that will never go away. Not because of why they were put there, but because of people around me telling me to stop because they didn’t understand. Self-harming for me is an emotion, i’ll always have the emotion…..but sometimes I don’t express it (cut). Telling me not to self-harm is like me telling someone not to cry when they are hurting on the inside. I had an ex who used to scream at me for self harming, because he “had to look at my scars” and I shouldn’t be “so emo all the time”. I will never forget those words and he his definatly an ex on the, ‘never wanting to set eyes on again list’!
    I haven’t self-harmed in any shape or form since last summer, but some days it’s really hard to fight back the urge to. If I were to I know in my heart that it’s not me failing or letting myself down, but my way of protecting myself from further harm.
    I’m not sure if you wanted comments on here, but I wanted to say, that I get it. *big huggles* Em J xxx

  2. […] I can’t believe what I did to myself today, in the wake of a post I reblogged from Girl in Progress a few days a go called “Self Harm”. […]

  3. source says:

    Great Stuff, do you have a facebook profile?

  4. Kase says:

    Love this. Thanks for sharing, helped at a time of need. x

  5. A cool post there mate . Thank you for posting !

  6. There is a lot of spam on here, isn’t there?

    But I’m a real person. I just wanted to say how hard it must be to post about something like this, and I appreciate it. I’ve never found out that a friend self-harms, but if I ever did, what should I do? What would have been the most helpful response for you? I would never want to be the person that made it feel worse.

    • jeniuk says:

      Yeah… the spam only seems to get concentrated on *this* post! I’m not too keen on the idea of limiting commenting at all… yet the spam filters on here seem a little… rubbish!

      What should you do? Give them a big hug, let them know that you are there for them, and make sure they are being safe!

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