We can’t be there in person to help and support you in a moment of crisis, but there are other options available to you if you can’t turn to someone you trust. By giving us your postcode (or one nearby to where you are right now) we can let you know about services in your area. Remember: this moment will pass; you won’t always feel the way you do right now.
If in doubt always call 999.
We all believe things that other people tell us. Remember the time your mum told you to eat your carrots because they will make your eyes better? And the day your best mate joked that if you swallowed an apple seed a tree would grow inside of you? What about the bus ride home your older sibling said they had swallowed chewing gum and it was going to stay inside of them for seven years?
We believe people and we evaluate our choices based upon previous responses and personal beliefs.
During the years that I self harmed in Secondary School it was much easier to hide or lie about the marks on my arm instead of having to explain the complicated feelings that were dominating 90% of my waking thoughts. I didn’t feel loved or valued enough and I feared that if people knew they would love and value me even less. As much as I desperately wanted my friends to help me and advise me, wearing a jumper or twenty bracelets on my forearm was the easier option. To not self-harm was to be normal and that’s what I was trying to put across with all my might.
I built up these myths in my head, I told them to myself daily to make sure the secret wouldn’t come out and the whole class didn’t think I was crazy.
“If you tell them, they won’t be your friend.”
“If you tell them, you will lose your value.”
“If you tell them, they will think you are crazy.”
My inner commentary was stuck on repeat.
I didn’t want to forfeit being loved by telling my friends about a few cuts on my arm. It didn’t seem worth it.
As I’ve been recovering over the last few years I have realised the importance of honesty. I have learnt that true friends will love you and value you for who you are. Even if you are in your lowest place, friends will be the people who pick you up, encourage you and set you back on the path. When you’ve relapsed for the third time in one week, friends are the ones who will give you a positive text, a smile and a hug. Real friends will be there for you no matter what the myths are that you tell yourself.
Self-harming does not make you any less of a person or any less worthy of being on this earth. It’s okay to be scared, talking about self harm isn’t like talking about any other injury, it has deep emotions attached to it. Our lives are fragile and it’s okay to struggle with showing the true you for fear of shame or embarrassment.
I challenge you to think about some of the myths you have built up. What’s holding you back? What do you fear most? What myth about sharing what you’re going through has controlled you for too long?
You matter, you are important. No myth you tell yourself about what others may think of you can take your value away. Recovery is done in community and you deserve friends to walk beside you, encouraging you and teaching you your true worth.
Caitlin loves the seaside, loves community and is passionate about using her experiences of mental health to encourage and help others. She is currently living in lovely Brighton studying for a degree in International Development and Anthropology, however, spends most of her time eating cake, helping out at church and blogging. You can find her at caitlinfaithcollins.wordpress.com or touring the coffee shops of Brighton.