Valentine’s Day may not be for everyone, but no matter. We love hearts. We love affirmations. We especially love anything that helps young people learn to love themselves, even if that is hard to do.
We recently received a blog submission from a 16-year old girl. It was hard to read as she was dealing with overcoming self-harm behaviors. Many teenagers who resort to self-harm often feel invisible and use this as a way to cope. Sometimes it is even glorified on TV, in movies or music. But this behavior can have heartbreaking consequences: it can be addictive and result in unintentional death. There is help. With courage, commitment and lots of empathy and support, healing is possible. In honor of her recovery, we decided to post an excerpt from her contribution.
R., 10th grade
“I know this isn’t something that everyone always wants to hear about but it’s out there and a lot of people go through the struggle daily, either the act of self-harm or trying very hard not to pick up that blade, lighter, whatever people use. This is a call to anyone suffering in silence.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE!
Get someone to help you, be it a friend, a parent (though that one’s a little harder for some) or a teacher of some sort to talk to open up!
If you don’t want to talk to others, maybe because you’re scared of their reaction, these are the steps you can use to start to overcome self-harm.
1. Find something to hold onto. Make a goal for the future, or some kind of dream that you want to accomplish later in life and do not let that slip out of your grasp.
2. Find something else to occupy your time.
- Playing Music
- Listening to music (Music can be very helpful)
3. Try to avoid any triggers, maybe an ex, a bully. Whatever it is, ignore it or avoid it.
4. THROW IT OUT! Whatever it is that’s used, get rid of it. Without it the urge is just a little less or it makes it a little easier to avoid.
Besides these things, it’s good to find something that can safely calm you down. For a lot of people they usually turn to music. A lot of bands write from experiences and they try to give people strength through their lyrics (Check out the Heavy & Light Tour sponsored by To Write Love On Her Arms).
REMEMBER: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Never believe that you’re alone in this, you never are, try to find people who’ve maybe gone through what you have and gotten over it. Don’t be afraid to approach people. Social networking sites are great for this as long as you find the right crowds; they don’t need to know your real identity but it can be nice to talk to people. There are also counselors and therapists who can help.”
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