Mental health and self harm

Hi Guys,

Happy Black Friday, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Ireland so black Friday it is..

This post is a more serious one for me, I have always been honest when writing here but this one is something that means a lot to me.

This evening, while eating dinner with my family, the theme of self harming came up in conversation when my brother happened to mention a girl who he recognizes from working in a shop where he buys his x-box games. He commented on the fact that her arms are covered with self harm scars and he labeled them as ‘disgusting’. My brother has dealt with his own shit so I was shocked to hear this description from him.

Immediately, I jumped to the defense of this girl, who I don’t know and probably wouldn’t know if she passed me in the street. My argument was that this girl has obviously struggled. She wouldn’t have given herself those scars for no reason and I think she should be applauded for being brave enough to expose them.  Both my parents agreed with my brother saying that her scars should be covered, that they felt like she should present herself in a professional manner and that they felt offended by the scars. The shop in which she works, isn’t somewhere people dress professionally, usually the staff wear a t-shirt and jeans, have exposed tattoos and could have multi-colored hair. It is what it is and this girl was most likely wearing her work uniform.

As some of you may or may not know, I was diagnosed with anxiety earlier this year and my doctor sent me to see a therapist as she was worried about my mental health. I spent the entire time with the therapist bawling my eyes out. My anxiety was largely college related and it took a hell of a lot out of me. I am where I am now due to taking myself out of that situation.   According to my mum, I have a sparkle back in my eye and a buzz around me. I am happy. I, like anyone will have my bad days, when all I want to do is cry but I am a whole lot better than where I was this time a year ago.

When I was at my worst, I went to bed not wanting to wake up the following morning. I pulled apart a razor blade with my bare hands in the hopes of providing myself with some relief. I used a needle and a lighter to burn myself in an attempt to feel something other than the overwhelming numbness that was my life. I told no one. My friends didn’t know what was happening inside my head, neither did my family or the guy I was seeing at the time. Most people still don’t know. When talking to my Mum about not going back to college I mentioned that I had been so miserable I was self harming but I don’t think it registered. I have scars. They may not be slits up and down my arms like the poor girl working in the shop but there are there none the less.

After being in a situation where I felt trapped, I can never judge anyone else for the decisions they make while suffering from a mental illness and it upsets me that my parents would. There has been enough judgement passed on people who suffer with their mental health and I think it is time to stop and for people who haven’t experienced that desperation to comment and say its attention seeking is insulting.

Ok so this post was heavy-duty. I’m gonna go shower and cry now.

If you have ever felt like you need to self harm, please, don’t. Reach out to someone instead. I wish I had.

If you have ever self harmed, know that you are a strong and amazing person and your scars and marks make you a better person who has faced the worst times and come out the other side even stronger.

If you have ever judged someone for marring their skin, I hope this post will make you think.

Thanks for reading,

Love always,

Kathy ❤

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