A Letter to Those Who Self-Harm
Hey, you. Yes, you with the cloudy mind and painful memories. Put down the blade. Put down the lighter. Put down the thing you are about to harm yourself with. Let’s open up and talk just for a moment, I promise it won’t be long. From someone who has been there; you are more than this feeling of despair.
I know you may believe the pain on the inside will be reduced if you inflict pain on the outside. The temptation of hurting yourself is overwhelming and sounds welcoming. However, let me ask you something. How does it make you feel after everything is said and done? Did it help you in any way or was it just temporary relief? More than likely it just added to the mixed emotions you already had and did not help in any way.
Personally speaking, every time I would cut my wrists and then calm down, I instantly regretted the hasty decision. I would become more depressed than I already was, and then I would become very angry with myself, wondering why I stooped down so low to hurt myself. I was not happier, I was still hurting on the inside, and on top of it all I was now hurting on the outside too. Stuck in a cycle of self-harm, depression, and anger. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, please keep reading.
This world already has so much pain and heartache. Hun, you do not deserve the additional pain you are inflicting upon yourself. I know things can seem so big and overwhelming throughout life. Hardships seem like a never-ending cycle. However, love, you have the power to conquer and overcome anything life throws at you.
So, get your bat ready and aim for that home-run of happiness and keep batting until you hit it. You might not hit every ball as a home-run, just like every day will not be full of happiness. Keep aiming for happiness and you will start seeing more and more happy things. Just like when you keep practicing a sport, you become better and better. You can think of home-runs as times when you have a difficult day and you get through them without self-harming.
Also, please do not look at the days where you slipped up make you feel as if you have not made any progress. A slip up does not undo all the good days, just like a strike does not lose any points in a baseball game. Making a change takes time, patience, and effort. Very few people make a huge change without slipping up here and there. The most importing thing when slipping up, is to continue to go forward anyways. Strive to become better, even on the gloomy days. Keep at it and the urges will start to become less and less.
I am not going to sit here and lie; the thoughts of self-harm will be in the back of your mind from time to time. However, you will start noticing them and ignoring them, telling yourself that is not what you want to do. It gets easier with time. You have the power to overcome your dark thoughts, you have the power to change your thinking habits, you have control over how you react. It takes time and practice, but it is very doable.
You are so much more than a cutter, a self-harmer, troubled soul, etc. These are only labels with a heavy weight attached to them dragging you down; these words are not you. You are a child, a parent, a brother, a sister, a writer, a reader, a musician, a teacher, a future guide. You are light, love, and a beautiful soul. You are whoever you choose to be.
You are not an attention seeker, and even if you are there is a probably a deep embedded reason behind it. Maybe you did not get positive attention when you were younger and was only noticed when you did something wrong. It could have started out as a way to gain attention but quickly escalated into something you started doing all the time as a way to release the pain on the inside. Maybe you feel this is the only way to nullify the pain on the inside, or maybe you feel numb and you want to feel something, anything other than the dull sensation you feel. There are countless reasons to the reasoning behind self-harming. Only you know why you turn to harming yourself.
I guess what I am trying to say by mentioning the reasoning, is no matter the reasoning behind it you should never be belittled for self-harm, especially when you start looking for help. I know and understand all too well about the rejection and hateful looks when finally opening up and mentioning self-harm. The judging eyes, the pity stare, and the rude comments. These make it hard to want to seek help or reach out.
Please do not let others intimidate you into not wanting to seek help. This is your life, you have to speak up and put your foot down, if you truly want to get better. Only you have the power to change things around. I promise, you are so much more than what you see yourself as.
Each time you want to grab something to self-harm with, please grab and read this letter instead. One day you will realize you are so much more than you perceive yourself to be. I wish you well on your journey to self-healing, self-love, and mental wellness.
With much love,
Crystal Grasso (Ward)