The pain of self-harm.

Here’s a thought; pain echoes.

Today’s topic is a sensitive one, and one that I believe is relatively under-discussed. There are different opinions surrouding it, and it can be an almost controversial topic. I’m just here to share my own, personal experience, and I welcome different viewpoints in the comments section. Today’s topic is also something that is very close and cuddly with my heart – self-harm has hurt me, and those close to me.

Lets start with this – the gut-wreching, heart-breaking, pain of self-harm. The physical pain of self-harm is central, obvious, and speaks for itself. However, the emotional pain of self-harm is often withheld it’s rightful voice, and is shadowed into the corner, where all the other elephants in the room as swept. The emotional turmoil of self-harm, both in the moment, and years into recovery, still breaks and burns. And not only for ourselves, the ones committing the act, but also in the hearts of those that care about us.

It’s an understatement to say that self-harm is tied, woefully strong, to our emotions. This could be in the way of how some believe they deserve the pain of self-harm as punishment, the later realisation of actually tearing your treasure of a body down, or the bundled feelings beneath, which self-harm releases. In all it’s ways, shapes and forms, self-harm is a heavy load to carry, and the burden of it can definitely trample the mind. In some instances, self-harm can be tethered and dragged by our emotions of impulsivity, and of wanting to feel something, when actually the mere wanting of self-harm is a feeling of pain in itself. 

Once the vicious cycle or addiction of self-harm is set in place, tearing ourselves away will release the floodgates to further emotional pain. The journey of reckoning and scuttling around “deserving” to be free of self-harm will bend your heartstrings until they snap. Furthermore, living life without self-harm can be incredibly painful at first. If self-harm is a blanket, a cover, a masked warrior to dealing with painful emotions, then ripping it off and having to feel everything that has been surpressed beneath physical pain, is a truly harrowing and difficult experience.

While the pain of self-harm is by every definition, substantial to the individual involved, this pain echoes. The pain we feel is also felt by those who care about us, even if some express it in a way that’s unexpected, or not as we initially understand. Imagine your dog or best friend is upset – you would feel upset that they are upset – and this is perfectly okay. It may not be their fault, that whatever has hurt them is causing them harm, but their pain still echoes regardless.

If you have somebody close to you that experiences self-harm, then you will be forced to understand – the pain they experience is not limited to themselves. It bounds, it leaps, it frenzies and weaves it’s way into the lives of others. Having somebody you care about engage in self-harm, is incredibly upsetting, and immensely awful. All the care and support you hold for them is seemingly not making a dent in the lows they are feeling. 

While self-harm is a battle that nobody wishes to fight, part of being a caring partner or friend is the responsibility of reducing the amount of pain that the other experiences. With self-harm, this is something we have at least a small amount of control over. Engaging in therapy or other professional help is a good place to start. Those that care about us cannot save us from self-harm, but they will continue to support, love, and feel the pain of it all, while we are in the progress of saving ourselves.

If self-harm is part of your life, I am sorry. It’s a truly awful and difficult experience. But you can, and you will, learn how to be free of it. It will become less painful, for both you and those close to you, with time. I promise.


30 thoughts on “The pain of self-harm.

  1. What an important post and message. I have a few friends that have had to go through things like this so reading this helped me understand what they must have went through a little more. (some aren’t really ready to talk about it yet and I would never pressure them to do so). It is hard as a bystander because there’s not a lot that you can really do – I just try to be there for them I guess. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I found this post to be so incredibly refreshing and honest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you so much for sharing, and for your kind words too! You sound like a wonderful, supportive friend for being so willing to learn more, and also for sticking by your friends through their struggles, even though it’s hard. Your friends are lucky to have you 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ahhhh. i needed so so much to read this. to know that i am not alone. to know that as gut-wrenching and overpowering as it is, there is hope for freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this. I’ve struggled with self-harm for over a year now. I’ll have periods of reprieve only to fall back into it. I identify strongly with what you said about ripping away the cover and having to deal with the extremely negative feelings that surface. I’m in that stage right now, trying to cope with it, trying to keep it from happening. It’s important that people talk about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you so much for sharing part of your story, and I’m so glad that what I wrote connected with you in some way. It gets easier, with time, I promise. You just have to keep on going and going, despite how difficult it may be. I believe in yoy.

      Liked by 1 person

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