self harm scars on legs

Self-harm Awareness | We Do Recover

***TW – SELF-HARM***

It’s not something I talk about much, but self-harm is a big piece of my story. Today I am nearly 14 yrs free.
On my legs and arms are scars, that in my eyes are the forever stars of my traceable history.
I hold them now with nothing but tenderness.
For over a decade of my life this solitary and violent act became one of my main survival strategies. But like any addiction, it both saved me and destroyed me.
My mind and body interpreted it as an effective way to anesthesitise my pain and catapult my brain somewhere else, but what it really did was bury my pain deeper.
I found the quickest escape hatch from my immediate suffering, but instead of release I created a long term blockage.
Much of my healing has been about feeling all those feelings I was trying to run from. All those heart shattering experiences of being human, allowing them to flow freely through me, flow organically and unobstructed through my being, through my bones.
To experience my body as a safe place. To feel safety in my skin. To hold my own heart.
I often receive messages from people who know teenagers who are self-harming, asking me for advice, and honestly, I don’t know the answers. I wish I did.
All I know is that I wasn’t ready to stop until I was ready, and for me, it came from an achingly unreachable place of needing to be heard, needing to be seen, needing to be loved. Feeling voiceless. Feeling scared. A helpless, seemingly hopeless place. I didn’t know another way.
Maybe it’s not about answers but about questions. Maybe it’s just about love.
self harm scars showing recovery

August 2009 – day 17 of sobriety

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