Tag Archives: Disorders

Self Harm

28 Sep

** This is a disclaimer that this information might be unsettling to some, especially those who know me, or know someone who has self harmed **

 

A while ago, someone on Facebook posted an article about how, “self harm is beautiful”.  It has been bouncing around in my head ever since. Let’s start with explaining what self harm is:  WebMD‘s definition had a little more meat to it than others, so I’ll add it, plus the link for more info:

Self injury, also called self-harm, self-mutilation, or simply cutting, is defined as any intentional injury to one’s own body. Usually, self-injury leaves marks or causes tissue damage. Self-injury can involve any of the following behaviors:

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/self-injury

 

When I first tried to find that article I had read, I had come across this picture: tumblr_mrqjy0XOoW1sctwrio1_500 I remember when I first started self harming, I blamed it on the barn cats.  “Yes, of course the cat scratched me – on both arms – to cover every square centimeter of my arms – that’s why I wear a sweater in the middle of summer – so people don’t think I’m cutting myself.”  I know? Pretty clever for a high school kid, right?  (Yikes)

Beautiful, right?

No.

I started self-harming “before it was cool”.  Ugh. Yes, I jest.  But on a serious note – when I started self-harming I did everything to hide it, including blaming it on my ever-so-cute  cats.

I’m going to say this now, and likely again, “Self harm is not beautiful”.

I am someone that has lived with depression for as long as I can remember, and then was diagnosed with bipolar around the age of 25.

I started cutting around the age of 14-15.  It’s unfortunate to say, but back then – the issue wasn’t as visible as it is today.  Now, there are a lot more people showing signs of self harm and still not enough people reaching out to help them.

Let’s say, back then, someone noticed the damage I was doing and brought to a specialist’s attention.  No matter what – there is something going on.  If I did it for my only personal pleasure, or I did it, “for attention” – something needs to be addressed.  Because, trust me, it may be easy to drag a blade across your skin, but when you can successfully stab a full knife directly into somewhere that can ‘nick’ an artery – then it has gone too far.

You may think your teenager is “seeking attention” by cutting their arms, but trust me – you do not want to know what that teenager could do a couple months or years down the road.

If I can explain it in the simplest way: It is NOT easy to cut yourself. It is NOT easy to stab yourself.  It is NOT easy to slit your wrists like on TV, or anything you see on TV that is related to self-harm.  If someone you know is self-harming – there is something going on.  And that person needs to talk to someone. To get help.

One of the main reasons for self-harming is to gain control of your body.  

If you were to try and pick up something sharp right now – try and cut yourself – It’s hard right?    I can’t help but laugh at TV shows and movies now when I see people so simply cut their wrists or whatever – I call BULLSHIT.

As things progress, though… things WILL get worse..inevitably.
It will get easier and easier to cut through skin – and by that time – it may be far too late.
Simple ‘cat scratches’ on my arm, turned into me being hospitalized a decade later. After friends found me lying in my blood (had to throw that futon out) – joking aside, it wasn’t good. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people that would take care of me (thanks, Nick), but not everyone is so lucky.

If you can take anything from this blog – no one’s issues are too small.

People want to talk about mental health issues, but not do anything about it.  Be the person who does something about it.

Self harm – is not beautiful.

Cheers.

Through the Looking Glass

26 Mar

“Do you think I’ve gone round the bend?”
“I’m afraid so. You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

This past weekend really made me think.  It’s one thing to go through my own adventure, it’s another thing to try and explain it to someone else who will be reading through my eyes.

Trust.

Honesty.

I realized it is one thing to explain something to someone –  that has nearly destroyed your life – to actually being able to live through hearing this.

It’s not only about telling “my” story – it’s about telling the story of those who have lived it with me.

How can I explain to someone, what it’s like to love someone with bipolar and depression?  I’m not the one looking from the other side of the glass.

It’s not even about me.  This is about those who love me – who love you.  It’s one thing to be able to say, “This is how I am feeling right now”, – but what about the people that are living with us – loving us – trying to understand and comfort us.

How can I explain to someone “What It’s All About” – when I’m on the wrong side of the mirror – What is it like for parent’s to see their child going through this?  To hear that their child has been admitted to a hospital because they tried to kill themselves?  To know that something is going on wrong chemically inside a loved ones mind?

I’m not on that side of the mirror.  And it hurts me to think of being on that side of mirror –  even more, knowing I put people on that side of the mirror.

When will it be ‘okay’ to talk about mental illness?

When will it be okay to actually live with a mental illness?

xo