Chicken Pie (Recovery from self-harm)

To anyone who needs this right now,

For a start, you are not alone. You are not doing this by yourself. I can promise you that you are surrounded by people who care for you, even if it’s through email or on the phone. You also have a bunch of cheerleaders from those of us who have self-harmed but made it to recovery. When I was your age I thought there was no way out, but I was wrong. I started self-harming at high school as a way of controlling my anxiety but it escalated when I got to university. I thought I was the only person feeling that way.

Secondly, hurting yourself is not the solution. It might feel like the only solution, but trust me, it is never the answer. I know that right now you’ve got a thousand different thoughts and feelings running around your head and hurting yourself feels like the only way out but it isn’t. Go for a walk, call a friend or helpline, watch a funny film – do anything that distracts you from the wave of emotions that you feel you’re drowning in. I used the delaying tactic – telling myself to leave it until the next day – and would go out on my bike, no matter what time of day. I also start every day with a dance party – get those endorphins pumping!

However, if you’ve got this far you will probably have already self-harmed and have a negative view of yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for what was done in the past – you can’t change it. The scars will fade but you will blossom. Instead, use it as a trampoline towards positive change. I am now studying for a doctorate whereas ten years ago I was bouncing in and out of the hospital. I stopped hurting myself when I realised that it was pulling apart my family. I was so involved in my ritualistic self-harm that I didn’t even stop to think about what it was doing to those around me. It wasn’t easy but I did it and so can you.

Don’t spend time on Tumblr or other social media sites that promote self-harm. Throw away your blades or other things that you self-harm with. Most of all, learning your own triggers is so important. For me, it was often conflict or stress about work. I learnt to predict my responses and either avoid them (refusing to get into an argument or getting out the way when other people are fighting around me) or use all the strength that you carry with you to not allow it to use a positive way to face the situation.

Learn to love yourself – a good exercise is asking your friends and family to write everything they love about you and read it every morning – even if one of mine is that I make a good chicken pie!

Most of all – you have to believe in recovery. I can stand here today and say, hand on heart, that I am recovered. It didn’t come easily, but what in life that’s worth so much does?

I believe in you. You are a mountain of strength and it takes just one more step, however big it seems. You’ve got this.

By a survivor

More reading:

How can No Panic help?
No Panic specialises in self-help recovery and our services include:
Providing people with the skills they need to manage their condition and work towards recovery.
Our aim is to give you all of the necessary advice, tools and support that you will need to recover and carry out this journey. No Panic Recovery Programs

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