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Although I’ve lived with mental illness my whole life, I am not a medical professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclaimer here.
CONTENT WARNING: This could be very triggering for anyone experiencing self-harm.
UPDATE: I am one year self-harm free! Read about my journey here!
Wow. This has felt like the longest six months of my life.
In case you’re new here, I’ve been battling self-harm on and off since I was 14. I’m 23 now, and for about the past two years or so, my addiction became very strong. Hurting myself essentially became my only coping mechanism.
I wrote this letter to myself when I began to realize how bad my situation was becoming. I didn’t realize it until October of last year that I had a self-harm addiction. I also didn’t realize how bad it actually was until I started to recover.
From October 2015 to May 2016, I recovered and relapsed so many times to even begin to tell you. Some might say that I wasn’t trying hard enough, and I gotta say…they could be right.
There were so many times I didn’t even want to recover. There were so many times I didn’t even think recovery was worth it or even an option. I wanted nothing more than to go back to my old coping mechanisms I used for years and years.
I would recover for a couple weeks or a month at a time. Then I would relapse. Then I would recover, only to relapse again. Some relapses only lasted a day. Others lasted a week or more.
There were even times I deliberately relapsed just because I didn’t like the day my anniversary would lie on.
The longest recovery I had was three months until I relapsed again. I knew I was moving in the right direction, but I felt so upset with myself for giving in to my temptations.
One thing I learned from recovery is that it is not linear. You will rise, and you will fall. But you will rise again.
On May 14, 2016, I finally managed to reach recovery. Maybe for the rest of my life.
Still, I know there is a big possibility of me relapsing again. But you know what? That is okay. Relapsing is all part of recovery. It doesn’t mean I am a failure.
And I might have to come to terms that the urge to self-harm might never go away.
Because even after six months, the urge to hurt myself is just as strong as it’s ever been. The feeling in my blood doesn’t go away, and the energy still crawls across my skin and clouds my vision. And that’s a very hard realization to live with.
But I will continue to take recovery day by day. Hour by hour. Breath by breath.
Hopefully I’ll be able to write another update in six months for being one year self-harm free. If I can’t, I know that that’s also okay.
If you’re struggling, please keep fighting. Keep going. I’m right here with you.
- How I Went From Self-Harm Addict to Self-Harm Survivor
- Get 100 Self-Harm Alternatives with a Free Printable
- 6 Ways to Help Someone Who Self-Harms
- 8 Common Myths About Self-Harm
- 6 Tips for Preventing Self-Harm
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