Self-Harm Awareness through a self harmer's eyes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is more of an informational reading than an essay, it is meant to bring awareness to those who are "ignorant" (for lack of better word) of the idea, action, and addiction of self-harm, "cutting", "burning", "erasing", or any other form of self-inflicted injury. This is NOT meant for a child under the age of 13, or for any other child who has no idea of what self-harm consists of. It is solely meant to help those who suspect that a person is harming themselves, or if a parent or sibling knows or suspects that their family member or friend is harming themselves as a means of coping with the inner pain. You may not like what you hear, but this is coming from a past self-harmer and is NOT solely based on professional basics. Please be cautious as to how you approach the person who may be self-harming. Do not criticize or judge them, but approach it with a calm manner and try to see it through their perspective. You may not understand their thought pattern, but self-harm is like any other addiction. And YES it IS an addiction, so try to keep your hurt as hurt and not anger, there is a legitimate reason that they are doing this to themselves. Although there are better ways to cope, they may not have found one that helps that they enjoy doing, so help them in finding one that they do. So without further ado READ WITH CAUTION, and READ THOROUGHLY!

Submitted: May 15, 2010

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Submitted: May 15, 2010

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" I hate my life, everything is crashing down on me. Nobody understands, nobody EVER stops to ask what's wrong or even asks about my day or what I've been doing. Can nobody see that I'm dying right in front of their eyes? Can no one see that I wear long sleeves and pants all year round? Can no one see that I don't take the time to do my hair or keep up my appearance, or that I am constantly isolating myself? Can they not see past the fake smiles and too cheery Hello!'s? Can they not tell how bad I am hurting inside? Can they not assume that the past is affecting me in some way? Any way at all? Are my screams falling upon deaf ears and tears in front of blind eyes? Does it take showing them my cuts and scars to get someone, anyone to care? Well, fuck 'em, fuck 'em all. My blade is the only one who's been there through it all and has seen all my pain, yet I yearn to let it go. But I just can't because no one else cares, and no one else gives two shits about whether I live or die, but I don't want to die, I want to live. But sadly enough, I fear that I am already dead, I died a long time ago, and I don't think that I can be saved at this point."

Although not all self-harmers feel this way or think exactly like this, there were many days I felt like this, and thought like this, and acted upon those thoughts. The saying "fake it till you make it" is not applicable when it comes to a self-harmer. When a self-harmer gets this idea in their heads, they tend to take it to the extreme and fake a "happy, normal" life when really they feel they have no life. Now professionals always associate self-harming with a mental illness known as Borderline Personality Disorder. But not all self-harmers are mentally ill. Some self-harmers are simply going through a period of depression or cut because their friends cut. Then there are the ones who cut for attention, they feel that as long as their family and friends know that they are self-harming, that they will always love and support them. These people are known as "attention seeking" self-harmers. Now I don't know if this is how all severe self-harmers feel, but to me these "attention-seekers" are a blatent mockery of those who are really dealing with the everyday battles of being "enslaved" to the utensils used to self-harm.

A lot of therapists and psychiatrists feel that the best way to help a self-harmer cope is to hospitalize or place patients in a residential treatment program, but coming from someone who has been there done that a million times over, it doesn't help at all. In a hospital or treatment facility, a person does not have to face "real-world" situations and do not have the chance to test the skills they use in the facility until they are discharged and forced to face "real life situations." And being that they didn't before, they have no idea of which skill to use in what situations, and ultimately end up back in their comfort zone. Now if they go through treatment out-patient i.e. therapy, medication, and help through support systems, than they have a better chance at living life with a more positive outlook.

So if you know, or suspect that someone you know is self-harming or thinking about self-harming, please take the time to talk to them about what is going on, how they're feeling, and what their options are. And whatever you do, DO NOT ASK " How does that make you feel," the answer is kind of obvious!!!



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