It's important to remember that self-harm looks different for different people and there is no one way to experience it. If you are struggling with self-harm, or feelings that you may want to hurt yourself, help is available.
Have a look at our self-harm page for advice and suggestions of where you can get help.
A letter to myself when I was self-harming
Dear younger me,
I know you want to self-harm. No matter what anyone says or what you know you should do, the urge feels too strong to resist. But itʼs not helping you; what feels like temporary relief is just fuelling an addiction. The numbness, the thoughts and the feelings you take out on yourself will just get worse, more frequent and nothing is solved. Life is full of ups and downs; donʼt fuel the hatred and anger you have inside. There are much better ways to feel alive, places to go, experiences to be had that will make those worst moments feel not so big anymore.
Your mental illness is not who you are. I know youʼre scared to get better, to leave the comfort and familiarity of sadness, but life is out there and youʼre missing it.
If you feel the urge to self-harm, distract yourself: read a book, be with family, put yourself in a situation where there is no option to self-harm. Stop for a minute, look outside and see the trees still breathing, the skyʼs ever-changing colour. The world is what you make of it; when youʼre feeling low youʼll see the worst - you filter out all the good.
Write a poem, get the scrambled white noise in your mind on paper, it doesnʼt have to make sense. You canʼt have happy without sad, canʼt have love without hate. Whatever low youʼre experiencing right now, there is an equal high waiting for you. Experiencing deep sadness can give you the capacity to experience deeper happiness.
Stop worrying about the meaning of life and not knowing who you are. Who you are doesnʼt have to be certain - people are complex! Just live moment by moment, enjoying what is there for you to enjoy. You only live once, so if you need help to improve your life and move on from this stage, then get it. No one knows why we are all here; thatʼs the beauty of it, we have the freedom to find our own meaning. You have the freedom to do whatever you want to do. Youʼre here, you’re alive, so why not live?
Author: Jessica, 16
Get help for self-harm
If you are struggling with self-harm or feelings that you may want to hurt yourself, have a look at our self-harm page for advice and suggestions of where to get help.