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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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Tanya Gold, Your Fatphobic Article Is Uneducated And Arrogant

BREAKING NEWS: Women come in all different shapes and sizes!

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Just recently, Nike released a plus-size mannequin at one of their stores in London that showed off their plus-size leggings and sports bra. And, because we live in a world where being fat or overweight or obese is somehow the worst thing in the world to some people, this has sparked a lot of discussion.

Tanya Gold wrote an article for The Telegraph saying that this mannequin “cannot run" and is “likely pre-diabetic" and “on her way to a hip-replacement." Not only is Tanya's article uneducated and poorly written, it's completely fatphobic and embarrassing.

What I would like to know is this: why can't plus-size women work out in Nike clothes just like a size 2 woman? People want to scream from the rooftops that plus-size women are fat because they don't exercise and when companies FINALLY start catering to plus-size women with clothes they can EXERCISE IN, people lose their minds and think that they're promoting obesity.

What are plus sized women supposed to work out in if they can't even wear Nike leggings without being fat-shamed?

Would you rather them wear jeans? Overalls? A parka, maybe? What about a garbage bag?

Let's also discuss the fact that being overweight doesn't equal being unhealthy, just like being at a “normal" weight doesn't make you healthy. Did you ever stop to think that some women have diseases that make them gain weight that they, in return, can't lose? Some women can eat salad for every single meal, seven days a week and they still can't lose weight.

Let's all say this together: SIZE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FITNESS. Being thin doesn't equal being healthy and being overweight doesn't equal being unhealthy.

Everyone (and yes, I mean EVERYONE) should be able to be comfortable in their own skin AND in their clothes.

You can't sit and pout saying that fat people don't care about their health and then when they want comfortable clothes to wear while they're EXERCISING, hell has frozen over and how dare Nike cater to people who aren't a size 2.

Tanya, be honest with yourself. You aren't anywhere near a size 2, either, so where is all of this coming from? Are you self-loathing? Do you have some kind of internal fatphobia?

Pick a side, Tanya. You can't hate people who are overweight because you think that they aren't exercising and then when they do exercise and they get clothes that cater to them, it's all of the sudden wrong and horrible.

We are damned if we do, damned if we don't. As if women (and men) weren't already being shamed enough for being plus size, we're now being made to feel bad because a brand caters to our size so we can wear the same clothes all of the other sizes can wear.

Thank you, Nike, for making your brand more inclusive for all shapes and sizes so we can ALL feel confident in our clothes.

I think it's worth mentioning that Nike released their plus-size line in 2017 AKA 2 years ago... Why weren't you mad then?

Oh, and, Tanya Gold, you might want to stop smoking since you're all about being healthy, right? You don't want to get lung cancer or anything, do you?

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