I was in 6th grade the first time I let a pair of scissors intentionally cut my skin. It started with one, small cut on my wrist and eventually became several cuts by scissors and razors on my wrists and thighs over the years. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I stopped self-harming. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my beautiful partner as well as my counselor. The two of them pushed me to do better and continued to love me when I failed. Loving me even when I failed is, by far, without a doubt, what helped me the most.
In a nutshell, that’s my self-harm story. But I want to explain to you why it took me 14+ years to overcome such a tragic habit.
First, it became a habit for me. Some people smoke cigarettes when they’re stressed, I self-harmed, as several others do. Once it’s a habit, it’s incredibly difficult to break. Think about it. Do you drink coffee every morning? Yes? Well, stop. Just stop. The fact of the matter is, it’s never that easy. Self-harm is no different.
Second, it became my (very unhealthy) release. It’s not easy to explain, in fact, I’m not sure I can explain it, but the act of self-harming became a way to cope. It became easy no matter how horrible I felt every time I did it.
Lastly, I want to point out that someone who is self-harming is not always suicidal. I think this might be the biggest myth about self-harming there is. For me, however, this was the case. I didn’t want to live and self-harm became my method of connecting to death in a lot of ways. Now, I know that sounds odd, but it’s the only way I know how to put into words what I was feeling. I was dying while still breathing.
There is so much more that contributed to my self-harm story and recovery, but I think I will stop there.
If you or someone you know is suffering from self-harm, please reach out for help.
- Call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat online
- Reach out to a friend
- Seek out a counselor
- Share this list of 100 things to do to get through the next five minutes
If you ever want to chat with someone who has dealt with self-harm, depression, anxiety, suicide, etc. please feel free to reach out to me through my Twitter @AJUhacz.
Stay strong, beautiful butterflies.