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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Studying, Stress and a Subluxed shoulder

Hey guys,

My apologies for not uploading sooner, I have had a kinda crazy month! College for the last month has been nuts! Between RAG week (where I was really boring and didn’t even go out once) and study my time-table has been pretty full. I also managed to injure myself at work so that’s always fun.

So during the summer I had two exam repeats as I failed them the first time I took them. That couple with a bad ending to my au-pairing experience left me in a bad mental space. I felt worthless and genuinely didn’t want to wake up in the morning after falling asleep. I got into a bad routine of not going to bed until around 2 am and not waking until around noon. I would then spend the entire day sitting on my bed on my laptop studying for my exams. It was bad and it was a contributing factor to how I was feeling. Things were also not good with my parents at the time, partially due to them not liking my then boyfriend and partially due to me coming home early from Spain. All these factors added up led me to have daily panic attacks and to my self harming. Obviously, none of this was ideal. This led me to go on and fail one of the repeats I had to sit. Once again, not ideal. I found that once my boyfriend and I broke up in October, I felt much better. I was able to focus more on uni and work and my mental health improved. I was on an upwards stretch until I hit a bump recently. The month of March is crazy for me, I had an exam on the 9th, an assignment (3000 words) due for the 27th and a Spanish test worth 30% of this years grade on the 29th. It’s a lot of pressure by itself but when you have your mother on your back EVERY FRIKIN DAY it makes things even worse. Recently things haven’t been so great for me. Stress levels are high and I started self harming again. I haven’t in about three weeks and the marks on my arms are healing but they are still there.

I haven’t told most people about how I’m feeling, mostly just one of my best friends, who I regret telling because he gets so worried about me. I don’t know why I’m writing this but it feels kinda good to let it all out and put an order on things. I still haven’t told anyone about this blog so I won’t be spilling my secrets to my friends and family. I have 5 exams coming up at the end of April/ start of May and I am absolutely terrified of failing. I can’t take much more of feeling like a failure, despite me spending nearly all my free time in the library since this semester began.

In addition to this, I haven’t been able to keep up going to the gym which is my stress relief due to injury. At the start of February, I sprained my ankle coming out of a lecture. It took about 2 weeks to recover and I was looking forward to being able to go to the gym. One Monday at work, I was all excited to go to the gym the following day when I was carrying a crate of beer and suddenly I had a crippling pain in my shoulder. I immediately dropped the crate (Onto a keg so it didn’t have far to go) and went in search of my manager. When I found her, I explained what happened and she was all concerned but there was  nothing she could do and she just reckoned I’d pulled a muscle. The following day, I went to the medical center in college and went to see the physio who diagnosed my shoulder as being subluxed. She said basically, my collar-bone popped out-of-place and back into place spontaneously. Fun right? Basically its just been one thing after another recently. I now have an infected finger cause stress is quite literally making my body break down. Yayyy.. Another prescription!

Anyway, Thanks for reading guys,

See you soon,

Kathy