Today is Self-Injury Awareness Day.
Self-injury is a very real issue that is often overlooked, and as a result too many people out there struggle with it every single day in silence. They think they are alone. They think no one understands.
Anyone close to me knows that I am very open about my struggle with self-harm. I started when I was 13. I began cutting myself as a means of coping with depression. But then I started to use it to cope with other negative feelings: embarrassment, loneliness, anger, anxiety, and especially feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, and self-loathing. Things escalated to a point where I was self-harming every single day. One day I cut too deep and had to get stitches. Friends were concerned, my family was concerned, but even then I still didn’t see it as a problem. I’m 21 now. I’m about to graduate from college. I have amazing friends, a family that loves and supports me. And yes, I still self-harm. Am I proud of this? No. Am I saying this for attention, or for pity, or sympathy? No. I’m saying this because I want to get better. And I want everyone out there who is struggling to know that it is possible. It’s taken me nearly a decade to get to where I am today, to be able to go months without hurting myself, to be able to find new, healthy outlets for my negative thoughts and feelings. It’s taken me years to realize that I matter. That I deserve better. That my health and well-being, both mental and physical, is important. Cutting is not just a “phase” that you can grow out of. I’ve been through years of therapy. I’ve done all those tricks like snapping myself with rubber bands or drawing on my wrists with red pens. I won’t say that any of that didn’t help me. But I will say that it wasn’t until I realized that I had a problem, until I decided that I truly, genuinely wanted to quit, that I was able to begin to overcome my self-injury. You have to know and truly believe that you are better than this. You have to learn to love and respect yourself for who you are. No, it’s not easy. It’s taken me eight years to get to this point, and I’ve relapsed more times than I can count.
But I haven’t struggled alone. Like I said, I have an amazing support system of incredible friends and a wonderful family. I am open about my self-harm so that I know I can go to anyone and ask for help when I need it. So to anyone out there who is struggling in silence, I hope that this post can inspire you to reach out and seek help. Maybe today, or maybe in the future. But just know that you aren’t alone. You matter. You are strong. And you deserve so much more.
Show your support today by wearing orange. And if anyone has any questions about SI, or if anyone needs someone to talk to, feel free to contact me.
Sneak peak! Just finished a drawing for Self-Injury Awareness Day tomorrow! I’ll be posting the entire piece tomorrow to show my support for this cause, because it’s something I feel very strongly about. So keep an eye out!!! #illustration #siad #selfinjuryawareness #selfinjury #selfharm