Self Injury Awareness Day!
***POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING***
Today, March 1st, is Self Injury Awareness Day. Today is a day I am celebrating because I am walking free from shame from my own personal self injury scars. I am celebrating by sharing my story and bringing awareness to an issue more people struggle with than we realize. Anyone can face this struggle from any socioeconomic background, race, gender, age, etc. I will post some resources at the bottom of the page, but here is my story.
It all started with an episode of a news show back when I was in 8th grade. I was already dealing with depression and anxiety (though at the time no one knew it, including myself). Anyway I was watching this episode one night alone in my room on my small 13" TV and the story that night was about a girl that used self harm as a way to cope with the overwhelming internal feelings she was having. It was supposed to be a story of what not to do, because in the long run it just caused the girl more problems. It was a cautionary tale. All I heard though, was that this girl felt horrible and then used this thing called self harm and felt relief. All I wanted at the time was relief. That is the night it all started for me. All of a sudden I wore long sleeve leotards to work out in at the gym during gymnastics practice. I found a way to have on a hoodie in the summer or a long sleeve shirt under my t-shirt. I wore lots of items around my wrists. As in an 8th grader in 1999 is when my battle with self harm or self injury began and May 22nd 2017 is what I am declaring as the end. Now don't get me wrong, I've declared lots of ends but this last "sobriety" date is different. Yes some times a thought will pop into my head and a wrestle for a while, but the tools I have under my belt now are different and the love and understanding I have for myself has changed. So I'm a few months shy of my 2 year anniversary of divorcing self injury, but I have a lifetime of celebrating in the future. Here is a clip from the first ever NYC This Is My Brave show where I celebrate victory over self harm. It's a journey and I'm glad to be on the winning side of it! Here is "Rock This Testimony":
For more of my poetry celebrating victory and sharing my journey through mental illness check out my book Testimony: Words From the Heart
https://launchingpoint.org/ (especially if you are local to NJ, but also has online resources)
https://www.crisistextline.org/ ***(if you are experiencing an emergency please call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number)
Peace, love, and recovery to you all!