The truth about a self-harmer…

If you know a self harmer, know that even if they have not harmed themselves in days, weeks, months or years, they think about it every single day especially on days filled with emotion.

I don’t remember why I started self-harming but for some reason, I saw it as an option. I was too young to drink and to take drugs and for some reason, talking about and facing up to emotions was not an option in my mind.

I was 11 years old when I first self-harmed. Absolutely terrifying. I am now 25 years old and the thought of a cousin, niece, nephew or even a child of my own doing that at 11 years old is heart breaking. I’m sorry mum.

The last time I self-harmed for a long period of time was about 5 years ago. It was one of the darkest times of my life and I really didn’t care if I lived or died.

People think self-harm is a really bad thing but I don’t. It is a coping mechanism. A really short term fix with negative long term results but it helped me cope. I enjoyed it. I looked forward to doing it. I would be able to breathe after. I would be myself again after. It was nice.

Reading this, I bet you are thinking I’m crazy. I used to think I was.

I had a slip up when my drinking got out of hand and it was like I was drinking excessively to self-harm because being drunk was my excuse and I was more confident about doing it. I would never talk myself out of it if I was drunk.

The last time I self-harmed was the last time I drank. I think thats pretty significant.

However, there is something so dark and comforting about the thought of it. I don’t know if it’s the physical pain or seeing blood or something else…

But the worst thing about being a self-harmer is not actually self-harming, it’s the feeling of missing it.

Some days, the thought will come and it will pass.

Some days, I will be fighting the thought off for hours.

Some days, I want to do it.

And I hate that I want to do it but I also like it.

And I hate that I like it.

The reality of having a negative coping mechanism for so long and becoming attached to it in a way that you miss it is shit.

Trying to explain this to someone who has no idea around self-harm is excruciatingly painful and frustrating. I don’t expect everyone to understand but don’t judge a self-harmer.

They don’t judge you every time you pick up a cigarette or a drink because you’re stressed.

Don’t ever look at someone’s scars or listen to their story and think they’re weak.

A self-harmer in recovery is an incredibly strong person. Far from weak.

They are still here and still fighting daily battles.

They’ve developed healthier ways to deal and cope with emotions.

They’ve seen the darkness and they’re familiar with it but they’re still looking towards the light.

Also, know that like with everything, you will always have attention seekers.

I feel self-harmers are given this label too often and it’s completely false. Someone who self-harms to release emotions or to feel something or for whatever reason, will hide their harm. They will not flaunt it.

It’s not a trophy. It’s personal and most of the time, after the harming, it feels shameful so self-harmers tend to cover up.

People who walk round showing their cuts and talking about it like they’ve just made a cup of tea are attention seeking. For whatever reason, they want attention. You can take this as annoying or a cry for help or something they’re seeking as they’re missing it from other parts of their life.

But for those individuals who harm themselves because they can’t cope with their emotions, just hug them. Ask them how they are. And then ask them how they really are. These people are good at hiding how they really feel.


My Sober Nightmare

I have been sober for 1 year, 6 months and 21 days (and counting) and every so often, I have this really horrible nightmare surrounding my sobriety.

There have been many variations of this nightmare but every time I have it, I am so grateful to wake up. I have jaw ache from grinding my teeth in my sleep and I am drenched in sweat. But I am still so grateful to be awake and to know that it was all a dream.

Last night, I had a sober nightmare. 

I had gone out to a bar and I was sober me. I was saying no to alcohol and and having a nice time.

Suddenly, it’s hours later and I am not right. I’m highly emotional and reckless and I feel completely out of control. I am suddenly with people who aren’t my friends and I am in risky situations that I would never be in sober. This part of the dream involves a lot of frustration, anger and crying. I feel like I am losing my mind and no one seems to care and I’m not sure what to do. It’s horrible.

My dream jumps again to the morning after where I wake up very confused and unsure of what happened. I’m not sure if I’m hungover or tired and I don’t want to ask anyone what I was like last night as I fear a particular answer.

It ends up with one person telling me I didn’t drink and another person telling me I was really drunk and I don’t know the truth because I can’t remember anything.

The sad thing is this isn’t just a nightmare. It was my past. I would go out with good intentions, suddenly be really drunk and out of control and then it would be the next morning and I wouldn’t be able to remember anything.

Then, I’d be left full of remorse and disappointment.

I guess these dreams are just a reminder of what my life is not like now and maybe it is a way of testing myself.

Either way, these dreams feel far more painful than my past because before, I was in denial.

But now, I have accepted my mistakes and my flaws and have done everything I can to change them for the better and let go of the past.

So, I guess my real nightmare would be to lose my sobriety and I will make sure with everything I have got, that won’t happen.

For god’s sake girl, let go of the guilt.

I have a really big issue with who I was and who I am now. Besides going through a lot myself, I constantly feel guilty for people who knew me before I was sober.

I remember times that I’d be drunk and gobbing off to people. I didn’t care what I said or what I did to others whilst I was drunk.

Even before my drinking became bad and I was an emotional, angry teenager who couldn’t deal with anything.

I feel awful for the people who stuck by me throughout everything because sometimes, I could be really nasty and selfish.

Because of this, I feel like I owe people something. I’m not sure what it is I owe them but sometimes, I feel overwhelmed with guilt.

I’ve tried to reconnect with people through social media. Sometimes it works and sometimes, it doesn’t.

I’ll sit for ages thinking about what people would say about me. If someone was to describe me, what would they really say?

It’s so silly because I don’t care for the negative opinions of others now but if they have some connection to my past, I feel like I have something to apologise for and something to prove.

It normally ends up in feeling really shit about myself and I become weak, almost wanting to beg for forgiveness.

And the reality is, most of these people hurt me. I may have been an annoyance in their life or have caused them some pain but they also did the same to me. Yet, I still put all the blame on myself.

The truth is no amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future.

I’m not perfect, I never have been and I never will be.

Just know that everything I have been through, good or bad, has been a valuable lesson.

I don’t hold hate in my heart anymore. People can change.

I just need to find the strength in myself to let go of the past. The present is what’s important to build the best future for myself and by holding on to the past, I am just holding myself back and burdening myself with things that cannot be changed.

Give yourself a break girl, life’s too short.





I’ve forgotten.

After writing a blog post yesterday for the first time in ages, I decided to read through my old blog posts and wow.

I’ve realised that I really have forgotten what it feels like to be intoxicated.

I can’t remember the feeling of tipsiness after a couple of drinks. I can’t remember the physical sensation. It’s so strange. I also can’t remember what a hangover feels like. I mean I guess this is a blessing.

All I remember is my behaviour and how I felt mentally but even then, after reading my old blog posts, it broke my heart to read “I honestly believe if I do not stop drinking that I will cause serious harm to myself and/or to others… I honestly think I will end up dead.”

I remember feeling like this. I felt like this for years. Constantly suffering with the darkest thoughts and harming myself in various ways including substances.

I never ever thought that becoming sober would change as much as it has. Hand on my heart, I can honestly say I am happy. I am in control of who I am and I love my life.

I have only been sober for 1 year 5 months and I can’t believe how different everything is now. Every aspect of my life has changed for the better.

When I talk about my past and my behaviours, the people who never knew that Kelly find it hard to believe that I am talking about myself. I also find it hard to believe that I am talking about myself.

I love reflecting and I think it is super important to stay humble. Sobriety is the best choice I ever made.



The Fear of being Female

Last night at around 4am, I walked home from a night out with my friend. Two females walking home together on a lit road. We’ve walked that route a hundred times and as I was sober, not alone and there were lots of people around, I felt it was okay to walk home with my friend. After all, it wasn’t that far.

We were approached by a drunk man who asked us which way we were walking home. He told us he was walking in a particular direction which was different to ours. We crossed the road to be safe and also avoid awkwardness and continued walking.

Mid conversation with my friend, I look around and see the same man crossing over from the path he should of taken home to the path we were taking and felt instantly alert and anxious. I didn’t say anything to my friend until I was sure that he could be following us.

We crossed over again… and then again and at that point, it was clear that this man was following us.

Now, whether he had any intentions, good or bad, I felt fear. We both did.

The man caught up with us and we let him pass, pretending we were looking for something in our bags. Once he passed, we watched him continue walking and looking back for us. We hid in a doorway of a pub until he was far enough away but still in sight.

We were left feeling anxious, intimidated and frustrated.

As a feminist, I want equality and I truly believe that the world is becoming more equal. Yet for some reason, it doesn’t feel equal in society.

Girls are installed with fear. Fear of being attacked, raped, murdered, assaulted. Just for being a girl on her own in public.

We continued to walk home. This time, we were overly alert. Any person, doorway, road… we looked at over cautiously and made sure it was safe.

We entered conversation about how frustrating the whole situation was. Don’t get me wrong, men do get attacked. It’s not okay for anyone to be attacked whether they are male or female. Yet as a female who has male friends, it seems that it’s the girls who fear more than males do. We continued talking about past experiences and what we do to make sure we aren’t attacked every time we walk home.

As a child, I was taught to scream fire instead of rape because otherwise, I might not be helped. I was taught how to defend myself against a man if I was being attacked. I was taught to stay quiet if I was to be raped in case it angered the man and it escalated into a life threatening situation. I was taught to scratch any man that attacks me and pull their hair to make sure that if anything happened to me, I’d have DNA evidence of my attacker. I was taught to walk home with my keys in between my knuckles to use as a weapon in case of an emergency.

I’m sure men get nervous walking home too but they have no idea of the fear installed in girls for just being a single girl on her own in public.

The reality of is that men are stronger than women. If it was a female following us last night, I wouldn’t have felt that fear. I’d of known that I could defend myself if I needed to but as discussed with my friend, it seemed that if we were attacked, we were still not sure we could successful take on this man and get away.

One in five women in England and Wales has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16 (ONS Crime Survey for England and Wales, January 2013) and women are nearly five times as likely to have experienced sexual assault as men (ONS Crime Survey for England and Wales, year ending March 2016).

I guess this is why we are fearful. It’s just sad that a difference defined as gender can cause such a difference in levels of fear.

As a female, this is the equality I want. To be taught not to fear a man. To be able to walk home and not feel objectified or vulnerable. To not constantly think of an escape route or to decide which object in my bag could be my weapon. To raise daughters and grandaughters to learn self-defense for general safety and not to protect themselves from males.

I honestly believe this is why females are more feisty and defensive to any man that approaches them. We may appear stuck up or rude but we are already on the defence, preparing ourselves for the feeling of vulnerability we all know to well. Already subconsciously defending ourselves.

I hope this changes.



I went to the worst place on earth… School.

Today my foster sister went to her school prom and she looked beautiful. She goes to the school that I went to at her age. I wanted to feel happy and enjoy the moment but instead, I felt insecure, anxious and sad. 

We went to a place called Foster Gardens where everyone has their pictures taken. It’s a lovely opportunity for people to meet up with their friends and take group pictures with a pretty background. Perfect for instagram.

However, I noticed so many people alone not having people to take pictures with and it broke my heart.

It reminded me of being at school and feeling isolated. Constantly battling to stay afloat whilst feeling like you’re drowning.

Everyone’s experience at school is different but I really hated school. Don’t get me wrong, I loved learning but I hated the social aspect of school.

I was a bubbly, sociable person but I was also insecure and suffering with my mental health. I hated injustice and couldn’t stand bullys which also got me into trouble.

I know I had friends at school and I know there were good times but it is so hard to remember them. Most of my happy memories are crushed by people letting me down or simply worse experiences.

School was the time that I started self-harming and drinking. I constantly felt out of control and I constantly felt like I had to prove myself to people.

When I went to watch the prom tonight, I remembered every single person who bullied me, every time I cried, every time I walked out of school because I couldn’t cope. I remembered all the rumours which were so silly but caused so much drama, all the people who said they were my friend and were not. I remembered the pressure of looking a specific way and I remember the people who got bullied because they didn’t fit the criteria. I remembered it all.

I really hope that the good and decent people never listened to those rumours. I hope that when I was really suffering mentally, people felt sad for me instead of believing that I was an attention seeker. I really hope that any one I ever upset or hurt, they can forgive me because I really am sorry.

And if we went to school together and you see me on the street, at a party, on facebook, then please say hello. And if for some reason I hurt your feelings, definitely say hello. Lets start again!


Still learning that self-love

So far on this journey of airy fairy self-love

I have deleted unhealthy social media pages. I went through facebook, snapchat, instagram and said goodbye to all the fitness pages, healthy eating pages, models, celebrities etc. I knew seeing all these “perfect” people were affecting my mood but it wasn’t until I deleted nearly 300 instagram pages that I truly understood how social media was affecting me in such a negative way.

I’ve also stopped putting pressure on myself. I love working out but to balance university, work and some sort of social life is hard enough without adding the gym into it. Whilst I enjoy going, by making myself go, it becomes a chore and it makes me miserable. I’ve decided that my happiness will not be defined by weight. When I go to the gym, I become addicted (story of my life) and I put pressure on myself to constantly look better. I am never satisfied. From discovering this, I’ve realised I really need to give myself a break. I need to become happy in my own body before working out. I want to work out because I enjoy it, not to increase my levels of happiness due to weight loss.

I’ve realised that what I want most in the world is to be in a healthy loving relationship with a bestfriend and have a happy and healthy family. Such simple life goals. But in order to achieve this, I really need to chill out. I need to let go of the past. There is a lot in my past that I have let go of but for some reason, I define myself and my abilities on the successes and failures of past relationships. Absolutely bloody ridiculous! I know! When I am lonely, I reflect on past relationships and blame myself as the reason I am alone. I know that I have standards and the reason I am single is because the men in my past were just not right for me. We were at different stages of our lives. We were together for the wrong reasons. We wanted different things. Yet, I still punish myself for the failures in my life. I really want to and need to evaluate this section of my thought process. Failed relationships doesn’t make me a failure, it just means I’m strong because I didn’t settle for less.

It frustrates me that I am aware of what I am doing to myself. I’m aware I am punishing myself for something so ridiculous. So, this has got to change. I need to let go of every single person I’ve dated. I’m sick of holding on to memories that will never be the same again. I truly believe that in order to achieve self-love, I’ve got to say goodbye for the last time. It makes me really sad that people can come into your life, change your life and then leave forever. I hold on, hoping that they’ll come back and change their mind or just want to be friends because we did have happy memories. But this is not realistic. It needs to end now. I honestly blame social media for making this so hard. There are always reminders of the past and it’s hard to truly move forwards but I reallllly need to do this for myself. I want to do this for myself. 

Come on Kels, you got this!

Thanks lovers x