Talking to Friends About Self Harm
I started self harming about 4 months ago, just after one of my closest friends had told me he'd been feeling suicidal. I was the only person he'd told so I felt responsible for him. He means everything to me so the thought of losing him was too much to cope with.
I guess it felt like everything in my life was out of my control, I couldn't control how Ben was feeling, I couldn't control my feelings for my ex, and the fact my friend had just asked him out, and Ben had just told me he might be moving away for sixth form. Cutting was something I could control, no one could stop me from doing it, and in a way it made all the emotional hurt kind of go away. During those times I'd only focus on the physical pain, I could forget about everything else.
Supporting him when I was struggling too
I told Ben about my self-harm only a few days after I started. He was amazing about it, he asked questions but if I said I didn't want to say then he never pushed me. I never told him that he was the main cause of it. I knew that would just make him feel guilty, and he might stop confiding in me when he needed me. I just thought it'd be really selfish to tell him. Sometimes I'd be feeling bad and he'd text me saying he felt bad too, so I'd force myself to stop. I'd tell myself that me feeling this way wasn't going to help either of us, and I knew that Ben was worse than me. I had to be there for him.
I tried to stop cutting, but if I didn't cut then I started to feel suicidal. It only got really bad once or twice, but I didn't let Ben know until after, I didn't want him to worry. The only thing that really kept me going when I felt like that was Ben. I was pretty certain if I was gone then he'd really struggle, and he didn't, and never does deserve that.
Opening up to my friends
I've got better at managing my feelings recently, and although I still cut it's not as regular and never as bad. My friends know me really well, I show my emotions quite a lot, so as soon as I started to feel down they noticed and started bugging me about what was up. At first I tried to deny anything was wrong but everyone just kept asking.
I didn't really want to tell them, I guess I've always considered myself to be a strong person and I don't like to show anything wrong. With Ben I knew he wouldn't think I was being weak or consider it stupid, whereas I didn't think my other friends would understand. I also didn't want them to worry. It was worrying about someone that triggered most of my problems.
I kept getting told I needed to talk to someone, so to try and make them go away I told them I had spoken to Ben. They were offended that I'd told him and not them. In the end I told one of my friends and then another, and pretty soon all my close friends knew.
To be fair they were all supportive, but I regretted telling them. They kept asking why, which obviously I couldn't tell them. They kept telling me I should stop, and didn't seem to understand that I couldn't. After a while they stopped bugging me about it.
Knowing they were there for me did help, and I have told two of them everything now. I just couldn't hold it in anymore, and I am glad I told them. Neither of them really understood, but it still helped to tell someone.
One thing I'd like to say to anyone who self harms is, although it may not seem like it, things will get better. I know everyone says talk to someone, and for some people that might help, for me it made things more complicated in some ways but I've still overcome it.
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