The first step in recovering from anything is probably the hardest, but it is also very simple: it is admitting to ourselves, that we are not as fine, as we like to make everyone (including ourselves) believe. With a mental disorder it is just so easy to deny that we are sick and push through everyday life.
The problem is that we cannot fight something, that we do not even admit is there. And fight we must, because those things, they don’t just disappear. Who are we kidding, when we say: “It’s just a rough patch, it’s gonna get better.” No, it’s not. But that is not a problem. Because we can and we will get better, once we stop living in ignorance.
But, why do we choose to live in ignorance? Why do we lie to everybody? Why do we prevent ourselves from actually getting better? There are many reasons. (In fact I believe nothing in context with self-harm is simple.) One of them is being afraid of being judged. The little sister of that one is being ashamed. Then there is the hate we feel for ourselves and the idea that we deserve to suffer, because we are a failure. The idea that we cannot be helped. Or the thought that it is not a problem. That it will resolve itself. That we are just making it up.
All of those are reasons keeping us from seeing the truth. For me personally it was the thinking that I was just being a drama queen in search for attention. And I did not want to reward that by giving my problem any attention. I was ashamed of myself, because I did not understand one thing: Even if we are doing it for attention, there is everything wrong with thinking that is a reason for not being worth to treat our self-harm. There are so many other ways to gain attention, hurting ourselves is not something that we are naturally drawn to. In fact it is what we are trying to avoid at all cost. So, there is no way that we “just want to get attention”. There is definitely something else going on. There is a good reason, we are yearning to be seen. And we need to deal with that. Not hide it.
No matter what we feel, self-harm is a problem. And we are allowed to view it as such. We do not need to be ashamed of it. We did not ask for it. And no matter, what it is that makes us think, we are a failure. We are not. And we do not deserve to suffer. We deserve to be helped, to overcome this. We deserve to be loved. We are loved. In our darkest hours we tend to forget this. But we are loved. So we deserve to love ourselves. With all that we are. Including our self-harm. The goal is not to hate ourselves for it. The goal is to help us get better.
And in order to get better. In order to believe ourselves, when we say, that we suffer from self-harm, I find it helpful to talk to someone about it. Because most of our reasons for not admitting what is going on, is a hate for ourselves, and a fear of being judged. So the experience, that other people do not hate and judge us for our self-harm is so helpful in actually seeing how it is may be a problem but it is nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing to hide. Trusting someone with our issue shows nothing but great strength. And honors the person we trust. I have made the exprience that those people highly appreciate our trust and faith in them and will try everything they can to help us get better.
But before we can get better, we need to view self-harm as a disorder that we have. A disorder that is not our fault. That does not lessen, the wonderful person we are. So please, if you are affected, allow yourself to have those issues, without hating yourself for them. Because you are an inspeakablely precious person, no matter what you run into!