Personality

Back in the Saddle Again

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Well, I failed at my first attempt at blog-keeping. As it turned out, selling/building/moving house, starting grad school on top of working full time, and the ending of a relationship were too much all at once. Ah well. The important thing is to get back in the saddle after spectacularly falling off, right??

I’ve been thinking about the blog lately, because this month (March) is Self-Harm Awareness Month, and I started this blog off with a post about my butterfly tattoo on my worst scar. You can read about it here.

self_harm_awareness_month_by_rambycat-d8k4bmj

Almost a year later, and I still love my butterfly. I proud to show it off and tell others my story when they ask. That’s new for me. I try to be more visible, more vulnerable. And I still have a long way to go to heal from the trauma I caused myself. Making it prettier on my skin hasn’t made easier in that regard.

I still have a hard time seeing self-harm, whether in person on others or portrayed in media. Being surprised by it, even if fictional, can cause a very visceral reaction in me. I have a hard time reading about it; in trying to find infographics about it, it took a few attempts. I could not bring myself to focus on it without feeling a sense of dread and panic.

I also discovered, when I was able to finally peruse the infographics, that the vast majority of them talk about self-injury in youth, as if it’s something only young people do and then one day they magically grow out of it. Maybe some do, but I didn’t, and I don’t think a lot of other people grow out of the urge, even if they find better ways to cope. I think if you are vulnerable to it, you remain vulnerable, like an addict.

So this is why I think it’s important to be visible: because I know how much I still struggle with this monster and with the reality that it can overtake me sometimes. Because it isn’t just something young people do. Because being vulnerable and visible is part of my recovery, and bringing hope to others like me is part of my life’s mission.

So, here I am, back in the saddle. It’s hard and scary to be vulnerable… but I will try to stay on top of my horse this time.

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