Why I self harm A member of CYA talks candidly about self-harm and respecting yourself
I started self harming when I was ten years old. For a long time hurting myself was my only coping mechanism. It was familiar, and it was my escape from reality and the pounding voices in my head. It numbed the pain in my head for a while.
I self-harmed most when I had been drinking as I forgot how sharp the knives really were.
Those scars are red and raised and I swear I can physically feel them burning when people “subtly” glance at them. I can’t take the questions, the looks, the whispering. At the time I didn’t care about having them but now I am stuck with them for the rest of my life.
Teenagers have enough to be insecure about - how utterly stupid of me to give myself something so abnormal and blatant to worry about too.
Self harm has been romanticised and signifies fragility and beauty on some social media sites rather than real life pain and suffering.
Self harm is unacceptable and not something that should be praised. People who hurt themselves need support and protection from professionals.
I decided to find positive coping mechanisms rather than self-harming if I felt angry or alone. To make things much clearer, I stopped drinking and talked about my problems or made a note of them.
The most important lesson I've learnt is that you are your own best friend, so respect yourself the way you would respect anyone else you care about.
Look after yourself, love yourself, and be kind to yourself. You don't deserve to feel the pain that you feel, so don't take it out on yourself; work to find other means of coping to improve your life.
Written by a member of the CAMHS Youth Advisors team (CYA)