Today I thought I’d talk about a topic that has cropped up in a lot of your lives recently, as well as mine. I’ve been receiving a fair few amount of messages about parents or carers finding out about self harm. This post is really for anyone trying to help someone else through self harm recovery, although if you self harm you may also find this helpful.
Many young people who self harm may find themselves in the situation where whoever is looking after them finds out about what they are doing. This is a daunting thing alone, but often the most upsetting part is what is said about it. I have experienced this myself multiple times and always find it hard to cope with. My story may be slightly confusing for you guys, so I may make a post dedicated to my self harm story at some point.
You often find yourself faced with the comment, or something similar to, Stop now and never self harm ever again.
Now if you are an active or recovered self harmer, you will know that this is something you never want to hear.
The problem a lot of people find is that people who have never had an encounter with self injury often don’t understand why someone cannot stop just like that.
The best way to visualise it or explain it to someone is through comparison. Everyone knows the effects of smoking. It’s addictive. Once you start you can’t stop at the press of a button, no matter how much you may want to. Self harm is the same. It takes time, and having someone pressure you to instantly stop and never do it again tends to make things worse; and a large amount of the time, is impossible.
The thing is, you need to understand that self harm recovery is an on going thing. It can take months, years, decades to conquer. The urges don’t just stop over night.
Another thing I quickly want to mention is other people’s perceptions of alternatives. Something I’m pretty sure all of you have experienced is the talking will make it better and make the urges go away. In some cases this may be true. But for most people however much talking may help, which may be not at all, it cannot replace the physical aspect of self harm.
When thinking of alternatives, you need to replace like for like. Replace the mental with something mental such as a mental distraction – talking etc. Replace the physical with something physical such as stress balls or ice etc. Replace release flow with release such as something creative like drawing, writing or poetry.
I hope this has helped some of you, and if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, email me, or message them to me on YouTube. I will try and get back to all messages and comments (no matter how related to the topic) ASAP.