Tag Archives: march

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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Addicted to Love

addictedto-love

As a segway on my blog, moving from the subject of Love for February and Addiction for March, today’s post is about those who are addicted to love.

I have a friend who is completely addicted to love. She loves the idea of love. She ends up going from one relationship to another with barely a gap between them. If you saw her Facebook feed you could be forgiven for thinking that she is a nightmare of a person to be with, but as her friend, I can tell you she’s actually a really great person. So why can’t she sort out her relationship situation?

Well, to start with, as I already mentioned, she goes from one relationship to another with barely enough chance to get catch her breath, let alone take some time to grieve for the old relationship and find calm and comfort from herself. Why is that important? Because she doesn’t know who she is. She’s never alone enough to get to know herself. I’m pretty sure if I asked her, she would say that she has a strong sense of who she is, but I don’t think she does. She certainly isn’t comfortable on her own. That’s why she goes searching for another relationship the moment the most recent one ends.

Now I don’t want to get too ‘Laws of attraction’ on you, but I do think we get back what we give out. If you’re in a happy mood you attract people who are happy. If you are in a grumpy mood, you attract people who are grumpy. If you are desperate and needy you attract either a) people who are desperate and needy (not that attractive) or b) people who will take advantage of your desperation and neediness. I would argue that neither of these is a great basis for a strong relationship.

This then leads to her being incredibly disappointed in how the relationship goes. She has wonderful expectations on what should happen. She likes a man to be a man’s man, tough and strong and able to look after her. She wants to be wined and dined. She wants them to be honest and emotionally available. She wants them to be amazing. When they turn out to be human, fallible and often a little emotionally closed off she gets upset and ends the relationship. Does she the take time to work out why this keeps happening? No, she dives straight back in again to see if she can get it right with the next one – and quite importantly, she blames them for not living up to her expectations. She constantly bemoans the fact that she can’t find a good man rather than working out why the good one’s aren’t chasing her.

So what should she do? Well to start with, take a break. Decide not to be in a relationship for a while. It would be helpful to her to take some time to let the wounds heal (and believe me, she feels like she is covered in wounds), to grow and to learn to be by herself. Then she needs to learn to love herself. Not just to put on a lot of puff and bluster (which she is already quite good at) but to actually learn to love all of herself. That means accepting the bad parts as well as the good. Once she has done that, maybe she will be able to be as kind to others. She will be able to love someone who is less than perfect, to understand them and help them in the way that she has helped herself. She will also be projecting more confidence and happiness – which I think she would find attractive in others, and they will find attractive in her.


Not everyone finds it easy to get over a relationship or to be on their own. If you or someone you know struggles with this, maybe you could find some help from a therapist. Invest in yourself – it pays dividends.

 

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Mighty March

sue griffin coventry hypnotherapist

I love March.

I probably have more reason than most, as it’s my Birthday month, but I think I would love it anyway.

March means the start of spring.

March means things are starting to grow again.

March means it’s getting warmer

March means moving forward with purpose.

The winter hibernation is nearly over, the sun’s getting stronger and so am I.

We often break the year down to seasons. March is the start of spring, a time of growth, renewal and fresh starts.

What will you grow?

What do you need to renew?

What aspect of your life needs a fresh start?

Be like the plants – start budding your ideas now so that they can grow and bear fruit later this year…

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