Saturday, 11 April 2015

Self-harm

*Trigger Warning*

I haven't been completely truthful with you all over my blog; there have been a couple of things that I've kept to myself because I wasn't ready to face them myself yet. But after reading Sammy's post on self-harm, I realised that I needed to be ready. So I decided to be brave and write this post - I think it's the bravest thing I've ever done, even braver than setting up this blog and telling everyone about my depression. In truth, publishing this post really scares me.

I have self harmed in the past. Not an awful lot or very frequently but enough for it to be an issue, and it only happens when I am in a really bad place with my depression. Each time I do it I feel so guilty and disgusted with myself, because I know I will have hurt people close to me and broken promises yet again. Self harming is the only part of my depression that I am ashamed about, but I have realised that it doesn't have to be that way if I open up and admit to it.

Why do I do it? I have had a lot of time to think about this, and I possibly think it's to gain a bit of control when I am totally out of control of my emotions. It's also because I feel like I should be hurt or punished in some way because I feel like such a terrible person and so guilty and selfish. Some people think that self harming is attention-seeking, when actually people go to great depths to hide it - maybe, subconsciously, it's a small cry for help, but in actual fact it's not done to hurt others or to show others what you can do to yourself.

This is a huge step for me, admitting to myself, and others, that I self harm. When it's kept to myself it doesn't seem like a big deal, yet when I tell other people it makes me realise that it really is. If somebody else told me that they self harmed it would upset me immensely, whereas when I think about myself doing it it doesn't really affect me at all. I think admitting to it publicly will have to make me think more about my self-worth and consequently question what I'm doing if I feel like it again in the future.

Ironically the reason I didn't want to admit to self harming on my blog was due to the stigma around it, when that is what I say I'm trying to challenge. I think people need to realise that lots of people self harm, and that is okay - it's just a way of dealing with things and their own coping mechanism. Someone has to be in a really bad place to hurt themselves, and I'm hoping that this post may make a few people realise that they need a bit of help if that is the case.

Self harm is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something that can and needs to be stopped. If you self harm or are worried about someone else, there is lots of support available. You can visit your GP or call the Samaritans on 08457 909090 if you want to talk to somebody confidentially, or alternatively 999 if you feel that you are an immediate danger to yourself. Mind also have a lot of online help.

One of my biggest fears is that this post will change peoples' perceptions of me. I don't want people to tip-toe around me, and I don't want people to feel sorry for me or worry about me. I'm still a strong person and can pull myself through this hard patch, with a little help along the way from friends and family, as I have done in the past. I'm still the same girl that can't say no to a piece of cake and laughs at fart jokes; I've just admitted to something that really needed to be said.
Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know there is something inside of you that is greater than any obstacle.
                    - Christian D




PS Please donate towards my sponsored skydive for Mind here, or text MIHV99 £1 to 70070 - thank you for your support!

6 comments:

  1. AMAZING POST! I have and am struggling with self harm and I haven't been brave enough to write about it (yet) but I'm so glad you're challenging the stigma. You're right about it needing to stop (because it's never a good solution) but people will only look for and receive the support they need if we stop branding them as 'attention speaker'. You couldn't have voiced it better and I think you should be really proud of being so honest.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Liza x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Liza! It has taken me ages to write this so I wouldn't worry about writing it yet - it needs to be when you feel ready. If this post helps even one person, that would be absolutely amazing xx

      Delete
  2. You are amazing, Hannah. I was recently talking about self harm to someone (because I've done this before too), and I now believe it was just the same as a bandage for a broken leg. Self harm is a way of coping, just like you need dressing for a wound - you do what you need to do to survive. It's not shameful, it's an act of courage really xxx

    Sam | Samantha Betteridge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Sam! It definitely is just about coping - maybe not the best way of coping, but like you said at least it means you're surviving xxx

      Delete
  3. Thank you Hannah for speaking out about something that so many of us feel a burden to keep under wraps - best wishes xx

    ReplyDelete