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Moving on from self-harm
Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:01 am
It took me a number of years to stop self-harming, but even when I gave it up I found it difficult to cope with the shame of what I'd done. Writing often helps me to collect my ideas on how I feel about something, and work on a way of getting through it or looking at it in a different way. This is what I wrote in my journal in September 2015, and I can say that what I've written at the end is more true today than ever before.
You bring me shame
You show the world my failures
You display my weakness
And my grief, for all to see.
I hate you for your boldness
And wish you weren't a permanent reminder;
I carry with me everywhere
The imperfection of your destructive echoes.
But you are my scars
You may fade
But you'll never disappear
And because you won't change, I will.
I won't go out of my way to hide you
Because you are symbols
Not of failure
But of my strength to survive and overcome.
Re: Moving on from self-harm
Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 11:39 am
Thanks for sharing
I still self harm most days (I'm 49 in a couple of months) and I used to feel bad about it, feel ashamed of my scars, feel inadequate/less than/weak etc.
I asked my GP for help for years (getting nowhere) but now I accept who I am, warts 'n' all, and I'm much happier, I feel calmer and I still self harm (but on the whole less than at certain times in the past)...
We're all human and that's OK.
Re: Moving on from self-harm
Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 10:06 pm
Hi curvylu (and francesdrake),
Your written piece is beautiful and it struck a chord with me.
I have also used self harm as a way to cope, for a while it was my only way to cope with difficult (seemingly impossible) feelings. A couple of years ago I actually found myself on a training course for people supporting people who self harm (and I felt like a complete imposter being there!) but it actually taught me a lot about self harm and really helped me step away from some of the stigma I'd internalized. I learned that it's just a coping strategy, one that makes other people uncomfortable so we're taught to feel shame around it. Later I learned other ways of coping and I didn't feel the need for it anymore. I used to feel really bad about my scars (sometimes I still do), but now I can look at them and be reminded of what I've been through and survived. I now take care of my scars (gentile exfoliation and moisturizer) and it helps me feel like I'm taking care of myself.
For others who may read this post who are self harming - remember to treat wounds properly (clean/protect etc) and if you are worried about a wound being infected/not healing/needing stitches please see your doctor (you don't have to tell them the whole story if you are not ready to). If Penumbra (the charity) operates in your area I would highly recommend them for non-judgemental and practical support.
All the best, V