Archive for advice

listen…

Posted in mental health, self harm, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/03/2014 by doyourememberthattime

Today is Self-Injury Awareness Day (SIAD). As expected most of the mainstream mental health organisations have been out in force on social media. This should be a good a thing, but as usual the almost entirely miss the mark. All of the major charities trotted out the same tired recovery narrative with a sprinkling of inspirational bullshit. Did anyone ever manage to quit self-harm by drawing fucking butterflies? I doubt it.
If I sound frustrated, it’s because I am. These organisations are supposed to be for people like me. They are meant to advocate for me, but they are not remotely interested in what I have to say. When I tell them what I need and want, I am ignored. I have approached numerous organisations both directly & through social media to explain that they do not represent me (or the many people I know who struggle with mental illness). I am always met with silence or a patronising we know best attitude.
I don’t want to hear exclusively about teenage girls when discussing self-harm. It’s a stereotype & it makes it perpetuates a stigma that makes my life harder.
I don’t want to constantly hear tales of people who have recovered. I’m happy they are no longer suffering, but their story is not my story. Some people do not get better. Mental illness is a life long struggle for many people. Where are those voices? This representation of mental health difficulties is not accurate or helpful. It creates a misleading picture for people with no experience in the field. Even more problematic is the message it sends to those of who are still ill. It says our lives have no merit; that we will only be worth talking about when we recover.
I’m sick of the success stories. All those wonderful people who fought & won. The ones achieving amazing things. It just makes me feel a greater failure. I want the truth. Publicise blogs like this one. Tell the world the blood and guts reality of this disease. Let me speak. Give me (& others like me) the opportunity to show people they’re not alone. That the daily (hourly) fight to keep breathing is not that uncommon. Our lives are still have meaning & value even if we never get back to work or publish a book or raise a million pounds for charity.
Stop giving me stupid advice. Writing on my arms cannot replace cutting. Ice and rubber bands are just telling its ok to hurt myself as long as it doesn’t get messy. Having a bath will not stop a war raging in head. Ditto a cup of bloody tea. Lavender doesn’t cure insomnia. Painting my nails will not make me love myself.

Most of all, listen to us. We know best. We wake up to every morning. Our knowledge is hard won. Please use it to help others who are suffering.

with love from me to you – a little advice

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13/07/2013 by doyourememberthattime

I have had some search terms that have compelled to write another little advice type post. Hopefully this post will help someone feel a little better.
I self-harmed because I felt fat.
I am not sure if readers of this bog are aware, but I am a plus sized woman. I‘ll be honest I struggle with body positivity. We live in a world where thin is worshipped. We are constantly told there is only one kind of beauty. That is categorically wrong. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Fat does not equal ugly. I understand that this can be hard to believe. I have found a lot of support and inspiration from the fat acceptance movement. I would recommend that you check this out. It’s a loving & affirming community. I also love ‘fatshion’ blogs, big beautiful woman rocking gorgeous clothes. Searching for fat acceptance on tumblr & pinterest is a good entry into the fat pride world. Below are also a couple of links to my favourite fatshion blogs, both have a feminist slant & will make you feel good.
http://www.archedeyebrow.com
http://www.nearsightedowl.com

I feel so ugly & embarrassed about my self harm scars
Your scars are not ugly. I’m sure those words seem empty to you, but they are true. Scars show so many things, that you’ve survived, that you’ve had to fight, your vulnerability & strength; you have nothing to be embarrassed about. I know it is scary to face other people’s judgement, but you are stronger than them. No one is perfect. We all have flaws. Try to surround yourself with people who accept you as you are. If that is a struggle in real life, you can find communities online to provide support & help you educate friends & family members. Twitter is an excellent resource for finding people experiencing and advocating for mental illness. I am happy to help any of my readers, please feel free to get in contact & I will do what I can.

Self-harm scars forever alone
Dating and relationships can be scary when you have self-harm scars. It’s very difficult to know when to reveal that you have struggled with self-harm or mental illness in general. You are never guaranteed a positive reaction, it can feel hopeless. However, I can tell you from my own experience that this is not the case. I have had both long & short term relationships during the 14yrs I have been self-harming. I have slept with women & men mostly with little conversation about my scars. Of course mental illness can cause problems in a relationship. It can be very difficult for a loved one to know that you are hurting yourself, but it is possible to overcome these issues. I can honestly say that I have never been rejected because of my scars (which are extensive). You can & will find love.

I’ll finish with some general advice for all my readers.
If you are struggling with self-harm, please seek help. Find someone you feel comfortable talking to & tell them you need help. As terrifying as it sounds, your gp is a great first step. The sooner you seek help, the better. Self-harm spirals out of control very quickly. Please, please, please do not try to do this alone. You need and deserve help. Trust me; you will be glad you reached out. Do not hesitate to contact me if you feel I could help you do this.