Wednesday, 9 August 2017

(TW:SH) The Reality Of Self Harm - A Year On

It goes without saying that there's a Trigger Warning for Self Harm attached to this post and so please don't read if you think it'll negatively affect you in any way, always take care of yourself.

It’s been a year since I wrote about the reality of self harm and it wasn’t pretty, and this post won’t be either - reflecting on the whole thing more than a year on. The year and a half since kicking my self harm habit has seemed so much longer than the twelve years that I was in it - I have done a lot of growing, a lot of learning about myself, learning to be independent and getting to grips with the person that I am now. Maybe it’s been that so much has happened since I kicked the habit that it feels like it couldn’t possibly be less than eighteen months ago - all of these things couldn’t have fit into that pocket of time, I couldn’t be this different a person in that little time.

The reality is - some days it’s easy to forget how easy a liar the habit made you, it’s easy to forget that it used to take over your life at every moment, it’s easy to forget that I would lie in bed at 4am willing that Katy wouldn’t wake up before I could get to the bathroom for the next indulgence, the next hit, the next mess to clean up. It’s easy to forget that these scars that are starting to blend in with my skin were once something I would trace and cry over and purposely make more of, and it’s easy to forget all of the time I sat in therapist sessions, and doctors surgeries, and my bed, and I cried because I couldn’t get this monkey off my back, and I was tired of carrying it around. It’s not just easy to forget, but impossible to remember, how it started when I was eleven, or how that snowballed to how it was when I was 22.

The reality is - sometimes I want to go back there and it kills me. It itches under my skin and I feel like I can’t possibly survive without hurting myself; I remember how easy it was to lie and I know how easy it would be now to fall back into old habits. It’s easy to forget how it destroyed the people around me; it’s easy to get selfish about the whole thing and get back in that hurting-nobody-but-myself mindset. It’s so scarily easy for the ‘this-will-make-you-feel-better’ part of my brain to take over the, ‘you-are-strong-enough-to-get-over-this’ one, and it’s so overwhelming to have days where you can’t truly tell which side of your brain that you want to win.

But mostly, the reality is that life is so much brighter now - it’s so much nicer to live and sleep and snuggle with Katy without worrying about ruining our bedsheets, and it’s nice to learn to talk about how I’m feeling - and it’s a relief, to be in recovery, and to cope without taking it out on myself. The reality of self harm is that when you’re in it, you can’t find a way out - and sometimes when you’re out of it, you still sort of can’t find a total way out; but it’s doable. Recovery is genuinely possible, and for now - and I hope for a long time in the future - I am a genuine story of how true this is. It’s been ugly, upsetting, traumatic, happy, and make me angry, frustrated, stronger and bolder - but more than anything; it’s been worth it.

If you’re struggling with self harm please do reach out to your doctor, or find help through The Samaritans, but please also know that there is a way out, and you are strong enough to find it.

Sammy xo.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy for you that you have become so strong in yourself to come through such a hard time in your life! You are doing amazing and I really hope this strength and determination continues for you! I'm certain that you are an inspiration to many! xxx