When the urge to self-harm comes, take a minute to put things into perspective. My battle with self-harm was an endless cycle that I never thought would end. But it did, when I worked hard to use healthy coping skills instead of the maladaptive ones I had been using. Here are some reasons to resist that urge to self-harm because I know you can do it.
1. It’s Never Once
You may swear you’ll only cut this once but that is never the case. The urge to self-harm will only get stronger if you continue to give in. Each and every minute you stay strong, you are paving a new way for yourself. You don’t need to be caught up in a cycle of harming and hurt. I feel the alcoholic quote “one’s too many and a thousand’s never enough” fits in here perfectly. Don’t pretend that once will be enough. Self-harm does not satisfy your emotional problems but prolongs them.
2. Loved Ones
Your loved ones don’t want to see you hurt yourself. They care about your well-being, even if they don’t always express that. From in-life friends to online support systems such as hotlines and the AWS staff, you have so many people rooting for you to stay strong. My suggestion is bringing to mind someone who loves you unconditionally, someone you know cares. Keep them in the forefront of your mind. You may even consider getting them on the phone to help talk you through the urge.
3. Your Pulse is Worth More
Whenever I feel the urge to self-harm, I recite this line to myself: “Your pulse is worth more.” It’s true! Your pulse is a sign that you’re alive. It’s a sign that your heart is working hard to make sure your body can fulfill all the commitments your mind makes, like walking up stairs, dancing, and living. Self-harm does nothing in the end except keep you from living a fulfilled life.
Self-harm scars were not only a source of anxiety for me but a reminder of my struggles. I can remember going to get my first tattoo, a recovery tattoo. I was almost a year self-harm free but the specific area of the tattoo was much longer than that. Still I could see the faded scars. It made me want to cry. My friend squeezed my hand in acknowledgement. It’s been over two years self-harm free now and they are only just beginning to fade.
5. It Makes Things Worse
Like I said, self-harm scars were a big source of anxiety. Try adding that to the level I was already feeling, the amount that led me to self-harm in the first place. By talking through your emotions and coping in a healthier way, it lessens the anxiety you feel. Removing self-harm from the equation allows you to focus on getting through any overwhelming emotions. It doesn’t make things better immediately but it’s a start to getting better.
When you’re caught in self-harm’s web, you start to lie. You lie to family, friends, loved ones. People you wish you could be honest with start to question you and may doubt your word. Lying only leads loved ones to not trust you. Stay strong for the ones you care about because lying only hurts them and makes things worse in the long-run, because not only do you need to repair the damage from the self-harm but you need to reestablish trust with them.
7. It Doesn’t Change Things
After you self-harm, you may get a rush of release but it doesn’t change anything. You are still in the same situation you were before, but now you are plagued with more urges to self-harm and an unsettled problem. Anxiety heightens. Fear sinks in. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Resisting the urge to self-harm opens up a new world for hope and healing.
I hope these reasons to stay strong inspired you to fight the urge. You are never alone in this. There are many people rooting for you and reasons to keep fighting. It does get better. What are some other reasons to resist the urge to self-harm?