If you find yourself with little purples lines on your arms, you are not alone. I want you to know that it is okay – maybe not now, but it is going be.
I’ve sat on that floor with that razor in my hand with those tears streaming down my face. I’ve felt that pain and needed whatever that relief is that comes with self-harm. You aren’t alone in that place. I’ve been there, and so have so many others. You aren’t crazy. You’re just hurting. You’re trying to survive, and this is how you’re doing it. It’s how I did it for years. Very few people understand it – most people are terrified of it; they associate it with suicide.
I’m not advocating self-harm – but I do understand it and I am not perfect.
I have relapsed several times. The scars on my body can tell you stories my lips cannot put into words. I’ve been judged, questioned, and shamed. I will tell you this – even if I have to wear long sleeves at work, even if I have to hide the worst of them from my family, I understand why those lines are on my body. It’s not because I’m crazy.
They are physical manifestations of a mental illness.
A cold makes you cough. The flu brings a fever.
Mental illness often manifests in self-harm.
It doesn’t mean you’re crazy. We’ve already gone over this anyway – the definition of crazy doesn’t apply to people. So, just know you’re not alone. If people are judging you, if you feel lost, if you need help – you are not alone. Speak up, reach out. Use your voice. I am here if you need me.
Scars are the marks of survivors. Don’t feel like you are worth less because of them. Don’t let people make you feel like you don’t belong. You are made of strength. If those lines are still bleeding, they will soon heal and one day they will turn to scars. You will wear them with pride, knowing that they didn’t kill you. I look at the vertical line on my left wrist and think how lucky I am to be alive – how much strength it has taken to continue living. This scar reminds me every day that I am a survivor. You are, too. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
See the beauty in your scars. Never forget the stories behind them and what you’ve learned because of them. Look how far you’ve come. You are a survivor.
Remember, head above water.