Self-Harm Can Be Turned Into Self-Love

Self-Harm Can Be Turned Into Self-Love

Overcoming an addiction and fighting it every day.
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“It's just a phase.” “You are just doing it for attention.” “I don’t want to be seen with you if you do that.” These are daily phrases said to a suffering self-harmer. Some people may do it for attention but others, like me, do it because they are hurting, and they need to feel something other than the internal pain they are going through. It is an addiction, and this addiction is a hard one to kick. Self-harm is just as addicting to oneself as drugs or alcohol could be. It’s an out, a way to feel something else. The awareness for this is so slim, there are groups but it is a low-key addiction no one wants to talk about it because it makes them uncomfortable. So, do drugs and alcohol not make you uncomfortable then?

Self-harm is a really touchy topic for almost everyone, just as drugs and alcohol addiction is as well. I am a former self-harmer, but I still suffer every day with thoughts. It started when I was about 12 years old, middle school was really hard for me. I think it was for a lot of people. I was bullied and shunned by my grade. I made two friends, that’s it, and I thought I could trust them with coming out as bisexual (at the time). I told them I had a girlfriend as well and they seemed OK with it. The next day everyone was pointing, whispering and laughing at me. I instantly knew why--my friends who I thought I could trust told the whole school. I pushed through the rest of the day with a blank expression and a feeling of numbness.

I got home and I talked to my online friends because that who were really my true friends who I could trust and told them what happened at school. A little while later a new notification came up on my Gmail chat it was my two school friends and a sister of one of them, I told them I found it messed up that they would do that to me, next thing I knew they were blowing up my chat with hateful words such as, “fatty” or “dyke” or “emo kid.” The slurs got worse but I will not mention the words on here, they spammed me for a good hour, and my mom wasn’t home from work.

I have read about self-harm and a lot of my online friends did it. I never thought of it once until I was put into that group chat, after that rough day I couldn’t take the hurtful words, and the “go kill yourself”s from people who I thought were my friends. Only one of my friends in the group chat actually felt something was wrong and told them to stop and tried to get them to stop but they wouldn’t.

I started cutting. At first it was a key, the first day. It wasn’t doing it for me but I loved the tangy sting I got from the key. The next day my one friend asked if I was OK, I said I was fine and she said she tried to stop them. Me being the stupid middle schooler I was, I felt I could trust her with saying what I did last night. She was shocked and she felt like crap but the other two did not care, because when she slipped it to them by accident, once again the school knew. By the end of the day I was called down to Ms. Smith’s office, she was the counselor at the school. I started having weekly meetings and I was put into a group with others that suffered from bullying.

I continued cutting throughout middle school, moving up to a box cutter, and some days I would go to the bathroom at school just to hurt myself. It messed my grades up and it messed me up. My mom at the time drank a lot, and it made me upset because she would treat me like crap when she was drunk and one night I cut myself pretty deep because she was yelling at me for something. I couldn’t stop the bleeding, so naturally, I started to freak out. I walked out of my room and said to my mom, "See what you make me do?” My mom got pissed, and she literally almost punched me in the face that night and I was begging for her not to do it, she didn’t, I told her I may need to go to the hospital, and she said that she wasn’t taking me to the hospital. She put feminine pads on my arm to stop the bleeding, as embarrassing that is and then called my dad after she sent me to my room.

That night was one of the things that got me to stop. The other thing that got me to stop was my new girlfriend, my first one, and I broke up, and through my ex I met another girl, who was actually my ex’s ex. Brandi was her name, and at the time, she was suffering from almost the same problems as me. We sort of clicked right away, and she was the one who showed me love and showed me what a true friend is, and I was starting to be happy.

What really made it better was when my mom told me we had to move and I had to change schools, a new beginning for me. When the thoughts came back and I was still with Brandi, she forced me to get help, and I did. Because of her, because of her love and concern, I went to the doctor and I got medication. Not only did that help, my girlfriend took my mind off of everything and I didn’t cut for a while.

At my new school, Connetquot High School, I found a great group of friends who helped my through everything, who suffered like I did and were there for me, and now although I still suffer from thoughts of hurting myself, I am one of those people who will talk to anyone just to get them to feel better. Because of this, I have become a happier person, and although me and my girlfriend had a falling out after a while, we ended up dating again, and we are still together to this day.

It's an addiction, just like drugs or alcohol can be. You will always have those thoughts in the back of your mind. I will forever have these scars but it just shows I have been through a hell of a lot, and I came out the bigger person, and the happier person. For those of you still suffering, just know it will get better, and there are ways to kick your addiction.

I know of a person who drew all over themselves, and honestly it is so much better than hurting yourself. I have tried the butterfly project too, where you draw a butterfly on where you want to hurt yourself and the way it helps is that if you cut or anything, you will kill the butterfly. I have helped many people stop, even if it was just for a little while, and I have saved many people from killing themselves.

Self-harm needs to be turned into self-love. Life sucks, we all know that but you got to show life who is the boss. Overcome it, get help. For those of you who know someone struggling with self-harm don’t tell them shit like, “You are doing it for attention” or “I can’t hang out with you anymore.” Be a friend, help them through it, because it is an addiction and you just can’t quit cold turkey. You miss that high of the drug or the happy feeling of being drunk. For self-harmers and former self-harmers, they miss feeling something. Love yourself, and love others.

Bullying is not the answer, depression is a disease, and self-harm is an addiction. Stay strong. Life may be hard at times, but it is beautiful.

Cover Image Credit: Psych Scene

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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4 Lifesavers for People with Anxiety Disorders

Sharing your story makes a difference even if it is a small one.

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As someone who suffers from Anxiety disorders, I tend to get really flustered and frustrated at not just big projects but also smaller ones. Though I have only been officially diagnosed for about 2.5 years, I have learned a lot of tips and tricks that have allowed me to live a little bit more carefree than I thought was possible.

DISCLAIMER: If you believe you may have some sort of anxiety disorder or mental illness, consult a doctor and therapist in order to get the correct help and medications, these tips will not solve all the problems that come with Anxiety, but they will help lift the burden off of your shoulders a little more than just your typical medicine and organizational hacks.

Since my anxiety went unnoticed for so long, I made a lot of choices for myself to help combat the stress I was feeling, even though now that I know the cause of my troubles, I still make sure that I have a planner with me at all times, since writing is therapeutic and so is having everything organized. Having a planner on me that I can use to keep track of school and everyday life allows me to enjoy the smaller things without getting stressed about the bigger ones. Since everything is in one place, you don't have to worry about misplacing or forgetting assignments or even events you have planned.

While essential oils can't cure everything, having certain scents near you when you get an anxiety attack or start to feel stressed is extremely helpful. Most common oils used for anxiety include eucalyptus and lavender scents, which calm the nerves and allow you to relax and think logically about whatever is going on. I use eucalyptus spray on my pillow every night before I go to bed to ensure a good nights rest for the next day.

I understand that not everyone has a good family situation or friend situation, but having a good support system behind you is always helpful to any mental illness or issue in general. If you do not have family or friends that you know you can trust to help you out, there are always people you can reach out to on your campus. Whether it may be a guidance counselor or your favorite teacher, there is always someone to talk to.

Lastly, remember it is always okay to take time for yourself, you do not always have to be around others, it is so so helpful to take a day or two and just take a bubble bath and read a book, watch some movies with some popcorn. It will not hurt you I promise. Of course, do not neglect assignments for a bubble bath, but if a huge project is due and you are halfway done and it is stressing you out, take a break, not everything has to be done in one sitting.

Remember, not all of these lifesavers work for everyone, but sharing what works for you can in some way end up helping someone else, even if you don't know it yet. Sharing your story makes a difference even if it is a small one.

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