Self-harm. Even now, I get uncomfortable merely hearing the topic be brought up, heaven forbid in a room where I know everyone's mind jumps to me. I was a self-harmer for five years, and I have very noticeable scars because of it. I am currently two years clean, and throughout my recovery and even now there are just a few things I'm sick of hearing.
They are so noticeable!
I know you want to immediately dub me as completely mentally unstable. You look at me and wonder how any sane person could do that to themselves. Sometimes you can't hide your curiosity, I get that but I am very aware of my scars, there is never a need to point them out to me beings as I wear them every day.
No normal person would ever do that to themselves!
And honestly, you're right. I, among countless others, have dealt with our mental illnesses in ways that are worthy of judgment, but are we not human?
Must you feel the need to speak out on something you do not understand, let alone with pure insincerity? Additionally, when the human body is injured it releases endorphins-pain killing chemicals- which becomes addicting. It is no longer a choice, but an addiction.
Oh, but it's purely attention seeking!
Stop and think, if we were truly as desperate as to mark ourselves forever, is that not a warning sign? If we needed attention that badly, does that not prove we are lacking it enough to take drastic measures? It is still a sign that somebody needs help regardless. Try reaching out instead of making excuses.
You'll have to explain those to your kids!
I will, and I will do it with love and guidance. I will educate them about the importance of healthy outlets for their sadness and anger. I will encourage them to speak out when they are feeling low. I will tell them that there are plenty of other people just like me, who are not spectacles created by the scars on their bodies.
Won't you be hiding those forever?
If you would have asked me this three years ago, I would have told you yes. Even now, recovery is a journey but I would not be who I am without the tribulations I've been through or the choices I've made. I won't hide them to make others more comfortable because I am already comfortable with myself.
If anyone you know is actively engaging in self-harm, please seek help.