Today is self injury awareness day (SIAD) for more info click here.
If you’ve been reading this blog then it won’t come as much of a surprise, I think I’ve been beating this drum for the best part of a week, but in doing so it’s made me do a lot of thinking and I’m going to share those thoughts with you.
SIAD is so important because self harm is something that thrives on silence and shame. Break the silence, break the shame and you can deal with the problem.
I feel awkward and ashamed that I self injure. I’m more happy to tell people about my depression and hallucinations than I am to talk about self injury- as usual I’ve been sharing LifeSigns Facebook posts but I haven’t been using any of my words. And as usual my friends have been ignoring them (although my cousin liked one of them, which almost made me cry.)
I can sit here and write and write about self harm, about how we need to talk- I can be persuasive and eloquent on this blog under a different name but on my Facebook page I feel scared and tongue-tied. I want to write something honest and simple but I’m terrified that people will find out that I’m a cutter.
I’ve also noticed that I don’t actually talk a lot about SI on this blog (obviously excluding this week) and that’s because I’m scared of triggering myself. For me it’s easiest just to ignore SI and pretend that it’s not around, when I talk or think about it I want to do it…
Since B died I’ve pushed myself to do more things in person, it’s one thing keeping this blog- it’s entirely another to say the things I say on here to my real-life friends.
I don’t want people to know that I’m a cutter.
It’s personal, private and I don’t want them to judge me before they know me, I want to be known and defined by who I am, not what I’ve done or what’s wrong with me.
Each year I get braver and braver, it won’t be long now until I feel ready to be as active as I would like in promoting SIAD… but it’s not yet.
It’s a horrible situation to be in: I want to advocate openness about SI, mental illness and suicide, but I’m so ashamed that I don’t want people to think that I do them, so I don’t say anything… and I lose someone I love. I feel guilty about her death. I will always feel guilty about her death… and I hate it that that guilt still isn’t enough to make me talk about these things, or to stop feeling ashamed.
Breaking down stigma, opening up, getting rid of shame and raising awareness can’t happen overnight- it will take years, if not decades, but we can do it.
LifeSigns say that for them ‘every day is SIAD’ and I completely agree, every day IS SIAD, but the 1st March is a day to really push the boat out and be braver than you would be every other day of the year.
Cheers if you’ve stuck with my ramblings this far…
Hope you’ve having a great SIAD.
’til next time,