I have self harmed. I’m not ashamed. I’m not bothered what preconceived perceptions people have of me when they hear those words. Acceptance is very important with mental ill health and Self harm. It should not still be stigmatised by society. We should be able to talk openly about it. After all, if we don’t acknowledge it, how can we understand it and go on to improve life for those actively doing it?
My experiences with Self harm
I was going through my hardest times in school, being bullied, having the pressure of achieving because of being an A* student. I was showing signs of mental illness and was later sent to a psychologist and psychiatrist when I had a breakdown at school and my mum found me self harming with various items in my home. I wrote more about my experience in my ‘personal message post‘.
Once I was diagnosed with my mental illness’, I had to go back to school which made my health decline hugely. My best friend then died and things just took a turn. I left school. I had to be homeschooled. I felt segregated, scared, hopeless and like a useless human being and turned to negative outlets in Self harming.
Throughout my life I have self harmed. I ripped my hair out when I was 6 and developed Trichotillomania due to stress and anxiety. I used to pull at my teeth, bite my arms and hit things to make my knuckles hurt. I then got older and started to use objects on my arms, stomach, legs and back. I later developed an eating disorder and started depriving my body of what it needed. It was hard and no one understood. It was something I felt that I was shameful doing. I felt like a failure yet I didn’t realise It was a cry out for help. I needed help and needed that outlet.
I found my hope after months of burying myself in a dark, deep place and started to practise positive outlets. I sang loudly, danced, drew, read books, wrote stories, blogged, walked and found ways to release these negative emotions I used to let out by harming my skin and body. I faced my vulnerabilities and learnt my triggers.
With Lockdown, mental health struggles have risen and things have become a lot harder for people. It’s very difficult to cope with our troubles when we are so limited in what we can do, where we can go and who we can see. Our outlets can be limited to during Covid lockdown and restrictions so try and find alternatives to your outlets that are hindered. Keeping our Mental health in check during covid19 and in general is so important. Be gentle with yourself and things will improve.
Small steps leads to big victories. Remember that. Please take care. You are amazing.
My advice for those struggling with self harm
* Find a productive outlet like exercise, drawing, writing, gaming, illustrating, reading, talking etc.
* Move your body. Wriggle your toes, shake your legs, stretch your fingers and make movement with your limbs. Shake out excess energy
* Scream, shout or sing loudly and expressively
* Write down how you feel or speak out loud how you’re feeling. Do not bottle it up
Instead of self harm:
* Pluck your leg or arm hairs. This may seem bizarre but if you’re active with self harm, start small. (I am not encouraging self harm)
* Use a rubber band on your wrist to lightly flick it during anxiety inducing times
* Meditate if you can find a calming state
* Stretch your body and really feel the stretch
* Brush your hair and try different styles or paint your nails. Keep your hands and arms busy.
Please take care and talk to someone if you’re struggling. You got this. Take each day at a time. You’re strong. You are not weak.
Thank you so much for reading. I am here for you. This is a safe space.