Tag Archives: awareness

Addicted to Self Harm

self-harm-awareness

Today is self harm awareness day.

What does self harm mean to you. To me it can mean anything from cutting and burning yourself to smoking, drinking, overeating and promiscuity. I should know – I’ve done all of them at one time or another.

I want to start with the first examples I gave. Cutting and burning. To someone who’s never done this, it can seem alien and ridiculous to even think about never mind do.

The best way I could explain it was that it was a way of getting the inside pain out. When I self harmed in this way I was in a pretty dark place mentally. I felt lost, alone and scared. I was socially anxious (thought the people around me probably wouldn’t recognise that) and had real issues about self worth. I didn’t like myself very much and treated myself accordingly. The problem was, these internal wounds couldn’t be seen. Also they couldn’t heal. By turning them into outside wounds, I felt like I was taking some control. I could see them. I could understand them. I could watch them get better. They were not a cry for help. I kept them private and never shared them with anyone. In fact, the first time someone challenged the cuts on my arms, was the last time I did it.

Then came the second phase of my self harm. I self sabotaged. I quit university. I drank, smoked, took drugs and ate rubbish food. All in the name of ‘enjoying myself’. The problem was, it didn’t help. It numbed me a little, which I thought was useful at the time, but it didn’t fix anything.

The big question is – what does help?

For me it was a lot of little things. Working on forgiving myself, accepting that I wasn’t perfect and so shouldn’t hold myself accountable to insanely high standards. Being kinder to myself, becoming my own supporter instead of my personal bully. Accepting that I wasn’t going to feel good all of the time, but that also meant that I wasn’t going to feel bad all of the time too.

These things started to allow me to take care of myself instead of harming myself. I started eating better, quit smoking, stopped drinking (well mostly) and worked on my mental health through Mindfulness and meditation. I became more honest with myself and accepted who I am. I became strong enough to ask for help. And I got help. Help from my partner (who is awesome and amazing), help from my friends and help from people who know about this stuff.

I feel grateful every day that I survived this phase of my life and am now somewhere so much better. I also feel grateful that I went through it. Was it nice? NO! Was it useful? Yes, because it has given me more empathy to that problem than most people will ever have and it has given me the ability to be truly happy and grateful that I don’t feel like that anymore.


If you, or someone you know, is suffering in this way and using self harm as a coping mechanism, start with kindness. Encourage them to get help and support them through this.

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February – Heart Awareness month

Are you taking care of your heart? When you hear that, what does it make you think?

Do you think about diet and exercise? Do you think about relationships? Do you think about Self Care?

I think it should be about all of those things. I spent December writing about self care, and January writing about diet, so this month I want to write about relationships, what they mean and why they are important. Also hopefully, you’ll get some ideas on how to improve your relationships, feel better in them and get more out of them.

Today’s post though, is how to deal with the pain of the end of a relationship.

Relationships ending can be incredibly painful. Whether the end of the relationship is caused by someone ending it, or by death, there is a grief process to go through.

In both cases there is a relationship that no longer exists and grieving is a natural reaction to that.

There are famously said to be 5 stages of grief and these need to be worked through with a relationship ending.

Often the most difficult phases is denial. I have seen a number of clients in my hypnotherapy practice who say they want to get over a relationship that’s ended, but when I speak to them, they tell me what they really want is for it to be back on again. Despite saying they want to be over it, they are still in denial that it is really over. This is a terrible limbo land that can be difficult to move forward from until they accept that it’s over.

Then comes anger. It’s only natural to lash out when we are in pain, but anger is best kept in check. Not only can it make situations much worse if the anger is taken out on another person, but it can be much more serious when the anger turns inwards and we start to blame ourselves for the situation. This way leads to self-confidence issues and has other mental health implications contributing to anxiety and depression.

Now we get to bargaining. Again it’s fairly normal to bargain with our ex in order to get things back on track again, but the best person to bargain with is yourself. You need to decide how you want to get through this and make deals with yourself to help you to achieve it.

Here comes the darkest part – the depression. You will sometimes feel sad. You will sometimes feel as though you will never feel anything other than sad again. That’s not true. You will get through this. You will be happy again. You will look back on this differently one day. And now is the time to think about the bargains you made with yourself. Hopefully you decided you wanted to get through this as best as you can and work to take care of yourself. Eat well, go out, keep clean, be around people. I know it can be tough, but it will get easier.

Eventually you will get to acceptance. You may never be happy about it – then again, you might, but even if you don’t, you will learn to accept it. If you’re clever you will learn lessons from it. Know what you want, what you are prepared to accept and what you might need to do in order to get that. Also know what you need to bring to a relationship? We often think about what we want from other people, but sometimes it pays to think what they might want from us….www.talktherapies.co.uk

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