Well, I have probably started this blog about 15 times now and still can’t seem to figure out how it is that I want to go about this. I want to share my story, but I also don’t want people to judge me. I want to help people and shine some light where there is darkness, but I also don’t want to offend anyone. I want to spread help people understand self-harm, but I also don’t want to scare anyone.
I guess i’ll start off with this condensed “bits and pieces” version of my story.
I used to self-harm. I was a “cutter”, and it eventually led to burning myself as well. I was in a very dark place my seventh and eighth grade years, I felt alone and was suffering from severe depression.
I often felt like that ^ and it would stress me out beyond belief. Whenever I got so stressed it would beat me down. At times it felt like there was thousands of people in my head screaming at each other so that no distinct voice or conversation could be heard. It would feel like my skin would be stretched tight over my body and that so much pressure was building up from within me. It was during those times that I felt relief through self-mutilation.
For many people it is hard to understand what would be so awful in someones life that would make them want to physically hurt themselves, and for that I have no answer because it is different for everyone. Some people feel like I did, some people want/need attention, others are lost, some feel lonely, while others are contemplating suicide. Some people feel alone, others get a “high” off of it, sometimes people are testing their limits and boundaries, it can be used to express themselves, or to obtain power over something they can control.. BUT NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON BEHIND IT IS, THEY NEED HELP!
Here are some scary facts about self-harm in the U.S.:
- It is estimated that 2 million people self-harm each year.
- 1 out of every 5 females, and 1 out of every 7 males
- About 50 percent of those who engage in self mutilation begin around age 14 and carry on into their 20’s
- Many of those who self injure report learning how to do so from friends or pro self mutilation websites. (yes there is such a thing, and yes it is disgusting. If you have a weak stomach do not look these up.)
Luckily for me, I received help. I would not be here today if it weren’t for my AMAZING family, lots of love from my friends, endless amounts of encouragement and uplifting thoughts and words, my counselors, and most importantly, God.
1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
If you know anyone who is self-harming, or if you are self-harming please get help. It gets better. Self-mutilation is a sickness and an addiction. I won’t lie to you, you will struggle with it and there will be days you won’t think that you’ll make it through.. However, it does get better and life is good. You are always stronger than you think.
If anyone ever needs a person to talk to or is having suicidal thoughts:
Or you can contact me via facebook or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
– With much love,
Ashlyn, 5 years clean 🙂
& just because you CANNOT look at this without smiling…