I want you to know before you read this blog post, that it does contain some very sensitive topics. There is a massive trigger warning coming with this post. But after the month that I have had, I really wanted to write this. Not for attention but for closure.
How selfish must people be to turn around tell someone who has self-harmed how wrong and pathetic it is? How righteous do you feel about yourself knowing, that the second you stared to pick on what they did, you put them in a position to want to do it again? How good did it make you feel, knowing the second you called them an idiot without listening to why? Did it make you feel like you achieved something by picking on someone who clearly needs help and not judgement?
There are people all over this planet that will say that those that self harm, do it for attention. That, cutting themselves is them acting immaturely to the greater world. That, harming themselves is pathetic and cowardly. It’s not. It’s not the right thing to do but it doesn’t make you immature or pathetic. Yes, you need attention, but you need the right attention. Not to the fact that you’ve harmed yourself, more to why you took to causing yourself pain when you “have people around”.
If you were to ask anyone of my friends, they will all sit there and tell you how strong I am, how whenever I am having a bad day, that I just get over it and don’t let it get to me. The truth is, I am that girl! I will always be a fighter and I will always fight for myself, my views and my daughter. I will always be strong for her! But that doesn’t mean that I am always that girl. Especially not now. That girl lives in me, and she is there but right now, she isn’t the person I see when I look into a mirror. I don’t see strength right now, I see weakness. I don’t see determination, I see failure. I see someone look back at me that isn’t the happy, bubbly girl I would be described as. Instead, I’m greeted by eyes that look dead, a swollen face and a broken mind. I’m greeted by someone who has lost over a quarter of her body weight because she doesn’t physically want to eat. I physically force myself to eat to throw it back up within an hour.
Statics regarding self-harm are so rare because very few people own up and get help. There are many different types and not all of them require hospitalisation. Within the last 6 months, I’ve displayed more than one type of self-harm. Yes, I have taken a sharp instrument to my skin in order to cause myself pain. Hell, I bite my nails and still managed to cause myself to bleed when I scratch myself. Yes, I have thrown my fists against a wall in order to cause myself pain. (I’d rather hit a wall and lose a bit of blood than hit the people causing me pain and risk losing my daughter.) But, not once, in all the times I’ve hurt myself was I doing it to end my life, nor was I doing it for attention. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts but there is a one year old that gives me more strength than she will ever know. Sometimes its easy and others, it takes every bit of strength I have, not to lose it yet I still do.
In the last year, I have hurt myself in ways that I shouldn’t have. I’ve caused myself pain and suffering because the pain in my head wasn’t real. Because society, make you feel like your mental health, doesn’t suffer and doesn’t experience pain. They would rather have you believe that those that self-harm are doing it because they want attention. If I wanted attention, the day I sliced my wrist up, I would have come straight into the room where there was at least 7 people who would have given me attention for it. I didn’t. I came in, got a cigarette and smoked it. If I wanted attention, I’d have told everyone that I was doing it. But the truth is, I didn’t know I was going to do it until I hit the floor and couldn’t cope with everything that was going on in my head. I needed that pain, to be real. To know that even though I felt weak, it was because of the pain on my arm and not the fact that I am suffering. I have been saying all year that I’m not okay, I’ve taken steps in order to get it back but there’s a process that takes time. And until that gets started, I’m not going to magically wave a wand and be better. I’ve been screaming out for help and it didn’t work so I hurt myself because I needed too. Not to end my life, not to cause pain and hurt to the people I love, no, I did it because I needed to feel real pain. Pain that was physical. Pain that was visible. Pain that couldn’t be denied.
I did it a week ago and it took three or four days for people to notice. I didn’t hide it because I needed to see it as a reminder that pain is real. But they didn’t ask why or if I was okay. Nope. They just wanted to tell me that I’m an idiot and I was wrong for doing it. Believe it or not, and I know this may come as a shock to some people, but I am aware of the pain I caused on myself. That’s why I did it. I know causing myself an injury doesn’t make me smart or cool, but it helped. Because at that moment, it was real and yes it hurt like a bitch and stung like hell, but it was real. I know it wasn’t smart, but it also wasn’t permanent. I managed to fight off the suicide and settle for pain. I wanted to end it all and I didn’t I chose to just settle for the pain that would come of it. I did it, because at that point, I was alone and weak. I didn’t do it, so you could all feel sorry for me, I did it because nobody listened to me when I said I was in pain, nobody heard me when I said I was struggling. Then when I finally did something to try and relieve some of the pain in my head to something visible, I just get told it’s self-inflicted and that its pathetic.
But do you want to know what’s pathetic? The fact that I have so many “friends and family” around me yet I feel alone and isolated. I have people around me and I can’t open up to them without their criticization or undermining how I feel. I can’t talk to the people I love the most without them taking it personally and attacking me. That’s what’s pathetic. The fact that I suffer in silence because everyone around me would rather point out what’s wrong with how I feel than understanding that things aren’t okay. They would rather pretend that I am a bad person than remember that right now I need support and understanding not victimisation. I don’t need to be told what’s wrong because my head does that more than you possibly could.
Now, this isn’t a bashing. In the last month, I have been going further and further down, in the last month, so many people have played their hand in helping make sure that I stay down, yet I have a few people that work so hard to pick me up every time I fall. I have people that spend hours trying to get me to crack a smile, to laugh even slightly. They are the same people that don’t ask what’s wrong because I wont just come out and say it, they ease me into it and let me open up without pressure. The same people that have sat and watched me cry are the ones that gave me a tissue and held me while I did so.
This isn’t me saying that self-harming is acceptable because in an ideal world, mental health would be regarded as just health and wouldn’t be looked at in such a negative view. People that self-harm aren’t some strange aliens from out of space, they don’t conform to a specific stereotype and come in so many shapes and sizes. Just because someone has scars on their wrist, doesn’t make them a bad person, it means that there was a time where they were alone and isolated and tried to scream out but couldn’t so took the pain out on themselves. They feel that they are a burden and don’t want to put that burden on to anyone else. Those people are the ones that are suffering in silence and would rather take it out on themselves than let people in. Our brains fight against us. They magnify and blur everything, so you don’t see what’s real and what isn’t, it makes it so that you can only focus on the negatives because the positives are spun that way.
What I want from this post, isn’t people to message me saying that they are here if I need them. I want them to go to people that they know are suffering and just aim to make them smile. Because one smile at a low point can change an entire day. I want them to stop looking at people with scars and cuts as aliens and start treating them as people. Stop pointing out how stupid or pathetic you think they are for what they did. But encourage them to keep fighting. To help them when they are low and to make sure that if they are suffering, they have you there just, so they don’t suffer alone. Had anyone been with me when I was alone and weak, I wouldn’t have felt the need to hurt myself. But I was alone. I was physically and emotionally isolated. I was barricaded behind the thoughts that were controlling me. And that wasn’t me.
I am not the person who hides away and cries in a corner. I am not the person who lets pain and suffering define who I am. I will be that person again, it will just take time and patience. But you can believe me when I say, those that have made me feel worse for cutting myself or punching walls, are the ones that won’t be coming into next year. Next year, I don’t want to be the shell of the person I once was, I want to be the person I am. The person I am meant to be. And I will get there. But if you aren’t supporting me, then please don’t say anything. I don’t need to be surrounded by negativity, I do however need to be surrounded by those that love and support me. Those that understand that, even though right now I am in a dark place, I am still me! One day I will be strong and stubborn again, one day I will be determined and courageous, and that one day will happen soon. But, if you played even a slight part in keeping me down, then I wont ever give you that chance again.
Every time you want to cut yourself. Do these four steps. Sometimes they help straight away and other times, they distract your mind long enough for you to get a message or a sign that you’re gonna be okay.
You are not your scars. Your scars don’t define who you are. And your pain does matter. And I know it’s hard. Because I’m still battling to get back to where I was. But I also know that the pain will go and happiness and love will take its place. ❤️