Dear fellow adventurers,
When I was little, I always joked with my mom about why she never had to worry about me. I always said, “You never have to worry about me becoming a drug addict because I hate needles, I can’t(couldn’t) swallow pills, and I could never snort anything.” I said, “And I would never hurt myself because I wouldn’t be able to handle the constant stinging that comes when you take a shower with a bad cut.” I said, “Mom, don’t worry.”
I said these words to her, myself, and my counselor up until October. It was then that I became a liar. The first part still holds true. The second part…well that’s a different story. Cuts still sting when warm water and soap get into them and the burn still lasts for a while after getting out of the shower. That will never change.
What’s changed is me. I can handle the sting and now it would seem I’ve lost my only reason not to hurt myself.
In my heart, I know that I have a million reasons not to hurt myself. The four biggest being my parents and my two sisters. Yet, that doesn’t stop the urges to self harm because at the core of it, you believe you’re only harming yourself.
When I first caused bodily harm to myself I felt like a failure-not because I had done it but because I didn’t believe that I did a good job. I wasn’t satisfied and that was really scary.
The next time the urge came, I was able to stop myself from harming myself by texting a good friend of mine and using coping mechanisms. Still, while texting her I searched my room for something sharp. I felt like I’d become possessed and adrenaline was pumping through my veins. I couldn’t sit still and it was a total out-of-body experience.
Coming home for Thanksgiving break, I knew that I had to tell my parents but I didn’t know how and I certainly wasn’t ready.
When winter break came around, I felt like I was ready and I really wanted my parents to know. My friend S.W. told me that when I was ready to tell them I needed to be open and honest. I also needed to be reassuring and positive. So after we’d finished eating dinner one night I began to tell them about my depression and how it had morphed into self-harm and other negative thoughts. I reassured them that the new medicine I was on was helping and that I was still seeing my counselor at school. I reminded them about my friends at college so they knew I wasn’t alone. I answered their questions and I did this while staying as calm as possible.
My biggest fear was that they were going to start treating me differently, as if I were more fragile and untrustworthy than I was the day before. I’m happy I was wrong and I think that has to do with how I presented the issue. Telling my parents about my struggle with self-harming is an integral part in the healing process. As my friend says, “Now the real healing can begin.”
Have you experienced self-harm? Have you had a friend come to you with the issue? How did you respond to them? What are your opinions on self-harm and how it should be handled? Let’s start a conversation!
Until next time,