This is the most personal thing I’ve ever spoken about on my blog before so don’t get me wrong I’m a little bit nervous, there’s a little voice in my head questioning if I should ever publish this post so we’ll see. I understand this post might be a little bit out of your comfort zone too, as this isn’t the type of content I ‘typically’ write. This is something younger me could have done with hearing, so here we go.
VERY QUICK BACKSTORY:
I struggled with the issue of self-harm throughout being a teenager, I’d say between the ages of 15 to 17. It was something I did try to approach my doctors about unfortunately I didn’t get the help that I wanted and needed so I had to find a way to deal with it myself. I’m currently self-harm free and have been for the past year and a half, if not more and I never want to go back. It such a dark tunnel to get yourself trapped in however you don’t realize that you’re getting yourself trapped in it at the time, you don’t see how bad you got until you’re out of it.
WAYS TO OVERCOME SELF-HARM
DISCLAIMER: These are a few of the things that helped me overcome self-harm, I’m obviously not a medical professional so please seek help if you’re struggling with the related subject.
SEEK HELP FROM YOUR DOCTOR
I totally understand that this is a lot easier said than done, it took me while a while to convince myself that booking a doctors appointment is the way to go. If you seek help and don’t feel satisfied with the first appointment you’ve made, don’t give up, make another one and request to see a different doctor. It’s your health on the line and you need to keep going back until they provide the help you’re after, whether that’s counseling, medication etc.
TALK TO FRIENDS/FAMILY
I find sometimes simply talking about the problems you have can take a huge weight off your mind, like they say ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. If you can realise what’s making you sad talk to your mum or friends about it and you might be able to find a solution, for example: when I was at school I got super stressed over exams so talking to my friends and knowing they weren’t finding it mega easy made me feel slightly better, plus we could talk points over together to help revise.
FOCUS ON YOURSELF
I want to believe self-distraction played a large part in me overcoming this. I started to make more of an effort to keep myself busy, to meet up with friends, take my dog for a walk, get stuck into a hobby. I found if I had a large amount of free time on my hands then my mind would start to wonder, the thoughts would become more negative and self-destructive therefore affecting my mood.
DRAW A LINE
I got to a point when I realised my self-harm was starting to very very out of hand, to the point where if I carried on that way I was only ever going to get worse and cause my mental health to spiral in further decline. I didn’t know at that point how to handle the low moods and urges that overcame me, all I knew was something needed to change; I needed a new start that I couldn’t back out on, a permanent reminder that I can do this and better things will follow.
I decided that I would get a tattoo of a lotus flower on my left wrist, the placement of the tattoo was because that was the area I predominantly harmed myself. The reasoning behind the flower itself; there’s a few: the flower typically grows in boggy, muddy area’s and blossoms into a beautiful flower, everything starts off miserable and dull but ends up bright and happy. I thought that slightly represented my situation.
I had also told myself many times that once this tattoo is done, that is it, I can’t harm anymore and it’s a line drawn on the past. It’s a permanent addition to my body which has a meaning, an important one which I didn’t want to lose by not sticking to the reason I got it.
I’ve made it sound slightly easy by saying I got a tattoo and that was it for me, it wasn’t at all. A lot went on behind the scenes, it was the representation and meaning of it which helped me through. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have slip-ups, however, the ones I did have were nowhere near as damaging to my body. I also managed to complete two years of being totally clean from it and I’m hoping that continues as it’s a hard habit to break.
I was very nervous about posting this on my blog as it’s not a topic I usually speak about. I hope some of you found it helpful and remember if you’re struggling with issues like the ones I spoke about please please seek some help from a doctor.