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My experience of self harm

There is help out there for people dealing with self harm

Written by Royanne McGregor and posted in opinion

This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for please contact

"Before I even had the chance to understand I was using my new release tool daily sometimes twice daily."

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The first time I self-harmed I didn't realise I had even done it and that's the honest truth, all I remember was the self-hatred that I felt, like a hot explosion all over my body, I couldn’t handle the heat, I wasn’t strong enough, I needed to extinguish the fire that was taking over my whole body. I never thought I would self-harm, that wasn’t who I was, I remember thinking I’m not a Goth, maybe this was an accident. I decided the next morning upon inspecting my wrist closely that I didn’t self-harm, but I couldn't think of any other explanation.

I continued to put this experience behind me, I was crazy to think I self harmed, that's what attention seekers do right? But the problem was I kept feeling this fire exploding in my body, the intensity was going and the frequency, I realised I was desperate for a release. It’s like feeling all the horrible emotions like anger, self-hatred, guilt, worthlessness, and despair at once but at an intensity that’s unimaginable. I couldn't deal with it, but that didn't mean that I had a problem.

Before I even had the chance to understand I was using my new release tool daily sometimes twice daily. And then one day I looked at my arms which now were covered in red slashes and itchy scabs, I couldn't believe it, I was terrified. But the thing was, I was scared of myself and to be scared of yourself is the worst feeling ever, it’s not trusting yourself and being afraid of what you are capable of, what was I capable of ?

I was terrified, of myself and the fire that was bubbling up inside me. Then one day my best friend found me crying, the fire was exploding in me and I was desperate for my release but she was there, and then it slipped out, "I cut myself and I’m scared". That is when I realised I had a problem, a huge problem. Then she used that horrible word I had been avoiding, self-harm. Automatically I denied it and claimed it was an accident, but inside I was reeling in shock, she was right. I didn't know what to do, I was so scared, I was ashamed I was a mess.

She told me that she cared and I had to tell someone, I promised I would stop. But I didn't and I know I couldn't. A few days later, I ended up in the deputy principals office with my favourite teacher, blushing and wishing the ground would swallow me up, I was looking around desperate to find an escape. I couldn’t even deny it, they looked at me repeating that horrible word over and over. Then my mum came and my whole world came crashing down, I felt like the worst person ever, I wanted to hurt me not her she didn’t deserve this, I couldn’t get over what a monster I had turned into. My mother cried and did her best to understand, my school helped, and my friends show so much care, at first I was mortified, me a self-harmer? I thought I never met someone who self-harmed, but I was very wrong in my class alone four people had self-harmed.

I realised now that I wasn’t alone, that there was support available. I got the help I needed, while I’m still nervous about people seeing my scars I now realise that there are normal people out there everywhere with the same problem I had. People who self-harm are not Goths or attention seekers but normal people. Please do not judge anyone by their scars, they are just normal people like me who struggle enormously with this tempting release.

If you ever think of self-harm as an option for you, please don't. I wish someone had told me, once you start it’s nearly impossible to stop. It's not impossible but it’s one of the hardest addictions to conquer. It's an addiction and it’s flipping addictive. I beg you if you're a victim of self-harm tell someone anyone, you can’t do this alone. And if you’re thinking of self-harming please don't; it’s a vicious circle that keeps rolling. There are supports out there, and you are not alone.

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Published December 22nd, 2016
Last updated March 2nd, 2017
Tags self harm mental health wellbeing
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