“You hide from every person you love …”

Coping mechanisms.                                       Trigger warning 

It’s not often that we choose to compare damaging coping mechanisms, because our first thought is directed at how horrible, saddening and addictive they all end up being. However once in a blue moon, I will come across a person who chooses to voice an opinion which ends up hurting a lot of people.

Tonight I have witnessed somebody say that self harm isn’t as bad as people say. Instantly I felt my stomach drop because I couldn’t believe that somebody would ever even consider saying this and backing it up by saying that there are worse coping methods such as drinking or taking drugs.

Self harm is insanely addictive to the point where you carry a blade with you anywhere you go and hide it in your phone case. It’s addictive to the point where it’s your immediate response to anything that affects you negatively. To the point where you’re around your friends or family and try coming up with a good excuse to leave the room and not cause any suspicion just so you can release every bit of your frustration, anger, sadness or panic onto your skin.

You hide from every person you love because you can’t let them suffer by seeing your wounds. You throw your bedsheets away when your mum isn’t home because you can’t explain the blood drenched fabric that you’re expected to sleep on, your bed is meant to be relaxing, safe and comfortable, isn’t it?

You always hear words such as “you’ll regret it in the future” about countless of things such as your tattoo’s, piercings or hairstyles, but you’d never think about the future when the blade is gliding through your skin. Future doesn’t exist when you’re burning your wrist or thighs on a heater lighter you stole from your dad. A cut, a scar, it’ll stay with you forever. Two scars, four, five. A hundred and nine. They’ll be there and it’s your job to learn how to live with them.

Same way you’re damaging your liver and kidneys through abusing alcohol, the same way you’re destroying your body through self harm.

To think that one way of hurting yourself isn’t as much of a big deal as the other invalidates us, erases our problem and addiction. I have found this to be the case of treatment I’ve experienced through therapy and my family. I had to be drunk every night for months so I would be taken seriously because it’s considered more harmful that the conveniently hidden cuts on my body. We’re always in fear of people seeing those but get taken seriously when we’re seen in a intoxicated state which can be found everyday on happy and sad people in a bar or at a pub. Self harm isn’t an act of recreational way to have fun, however drugs and alcohol commonly are. So why? Why do we still struggle to be validated?

Anon, 19, Herts

If you are looking for information and support http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_children_young_people/whats_worrying_you/self-harm/self_harm_help