Please be trigger aware when reading this piece.
The 3rd October 2016 marked me being free from self harm for a whole year. Yes, I managed a whole year without harming myself, something I never thought I’d see. This post is here to look back at that year and to mark this achievement that I never thought could happen.
I realise so far I may sound smug or be making a huge deal over something that is a small achievement to most people. I’m not, I promise, feeling smug in the slightest. Nor am I really making a huge deal over a small achievement, because to me this is huge. I have already said I never thought I could make it this far and this last year has been so hard to achieve.
In the last year I have fought my hardest against my demons. To say I’m free from self harm is a misleading phrase. Indeed I have not self harmed (in ways that I see as self harm, others may beg to differ) but self harm has always been with me in the form of urges to harm and also visions of me harming myself. It has in fact taken over a lot of my mind. So to say I’m free of it is definitely not quite the right saying but its all I have at the moment.
I believe self harm will always be a part of my life in some way. Even if (or when, if we’re thinking positively) the urges and visions subside, I will always be left with the scars on my body. I will always have it in my past, and at the moment I feel it will always raise its head as an option when I am feeling low or am struggling with something. It may not be the first option/choice but I think it will always be there. Sorry if that sounds negative but it is my opinion that something that was such a huge part of me for so long will never be entirely gone.
I must however say it has got easier the more time that has past. The urges and visions still come but maybe less frequently (this could be me being optimistic). The “wanting to be free” feeling has won through more now than the urges. I have achieved a year. That’s a lot of days and a lot of bad anniversaries where harming used to be my only way to cope. I could not of done it alone and I have a lot of people to thank for it, which I will do personally.
If you self harm and are trying to be free I have just this message for you: It takes time and support and many slip ups. I may still slip up and go back to day one. But each time you go an hour or a day longer you are winning. Keep strong. I have faith in you.