The truth about a ‘great body’…

NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN ATTACK ON THE KARDASHIAN/JENNER CLAN. I LOVE THEM ALL, HUGE FAN. THEY WERE JUST THE FIRST EXAMPLES I THOUGHT OF AND THE MOST OBVIOUS EXAMPLES TO USE AS THEY ARE EVERYWHERE IN THE MEDIA.

Want a Kardashian bikini body? Go get famous and super rich then.

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So many people, including myself, scroll through Instagram daily and watch the workouts of celebrities and admire their bodies but come on guys, it’s not reality.

Since being back from university, I have been to the gym at least 5 times a week and I always work hard but I’m still not ab fab. I still don’t have a Kim K booty.

Paying for my gym membership every month isn’t cheap especially for a student. I was so tempted to get a personal trainer but I can’t afford it. However, these celebrities can.

All these celebs on social media and in the magazines can afford people to clean their houses, people to look after their kids, people to shop for them, people to cook for them. They can afford the healthiest food, the best products, a personal trainer, plastic surgery and best of all, THEY HAVE TIME.

That is reality.

I’m not saying that it is impossible to look “insta-ready” in everyday life BUT… most people do not have the time to work out several times a day. It can be really hard to find a job these days and even with a job, it can be hard to pay off your bills so our lives can be consumed with going to work.

Don’t forget the parents who are rushed off their feet with their children or the students who seem to study 24/7.

Even with time off, people don’t tend to want to go to the gym. They might want to relax with a glass of wine or go out for a meal.

THIS IS REALITY.

What made me pretty mad today was when I saw this:

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Say hello to Kendall Jenner. She has a great body. In fact, I bet her fat percentage is ridiculously low but look at her caption. Pizza? It really irritates me when celebrities get interviewed and they say they eat rubbish or when they post eating takeaways or fatty foods. It’s not reality.

Wouldn’t it be great if celebrities actually posted the struggles of their day to day lives? Like hiding from the paparazzi, the pressure to look good, the exhaustion from many intense workouts, being bored of eating healthy, the mental pressures of their role model lifestyle…

but they don’t. So please do not believe what you see.

Finally, do you ever wonder why Kylie Jenner and many other celebs pose in such weird ways? It makes them look good. If we all stood like we do at a family gathering photo and did our natural smile, we would look different to our crazy posed selfies. Furthermore, what about the lighting? These pictures are examples of lighting and posing. Sometimes, when I stand up and take a picture, I feel slim and toned. When I sit down, I feel fat.

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I know I am not body goals” but this is just to show you the truth.

 

From the front, tensing my abs and the right lighting, I look like I have a toned stomach. Relaxed and not as good lighting, I look like I have no definition at all. Also, wearing my leggings higher hides my love handles and makes me look slimmer. If I sit down and sit straight, I look slimmer than if I sit down properly.

I know my pictures aren’t the best examples but that is me. I love working out and I eat pretty healthily. Still not Kendall level but maybe above is more of an honest expectation of working out than what we see these celebs post on Instagram!

If you get anything from this post, I hope it’s the fact that you can look as great as you want but do not give yourself unrealistic goals because most of it is filters, good lighting, good poses and an extremely healthy lifestyle.

You don’t have to be a Kardashian to be body goals, insta-ready or goddamn beautiful!!!

 

Catcalls are not compliments and I am not here for your entertainment!

Note: I am not a man hater and this is not generalisable to all men. However, from first hand experiences, this is to the majority of men. You may not realise what you are doing but it’s hard for us to ignore.

This is my outfit today.


Nothing special. I wore it because it was goddamn hot. If I could of walked round naked, I would of. However, I still felt exposed. Since not having a car, I’ve walked everywhere recently and I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with what I’ve noticed.

I’m 23 years old and I am learning to love my body and myself. Yet, I still got changed 5 times before leaving the house today because it was so hot and I didn’t want to wear too revealing clothes.

Every day that I have walked home, 9/10 men stared at me whilst driving. It didn’t matter what colour, age, height, weight. Most of the men looked at me. Many of them had their partners in the car as well as their children.

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Whilst it doesn’t hurt to look, I suddenly found myself pulling my shorts down and my top up to make sure I was covered. Some might say I should be taking all these stares as compliments but actually, I found it quite intimidating. I just wanted to hurry home.

What was interesting was that 1/10 women looked at me.

I think what makes me uncomfortable is that I don’t want to be a great pair of legs or boobs. I mean yeah that’s great but I’m also intelligent, ambitious, funny, kind and so many other things. I am not just my body.

I want to love my body but not because people stare it. Because I am confident with myself. How am I supposed to feel confident when men stare at me like I’m just another pair of tits and ass.

What makes me sad is that I know I am not the only female who feels like this. What makes me even sadder is that when I was younger, I felt I had to cover up because I didn’t want to be a ‘slut’ or a victim of any sort of sexual abuse or exploitation. That’s just awful and we still continue to teach our young girls to cover up because we don’t want to be a victim. Doesn’t that suggest that if something was to happen when we were dressed in little clothing that it would be our fault?

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I know not all guys are like this and it’s harmless looking but actually, it’s uncomfortable. I spent years covering up my boobs because they were big because I didn’t just want men to stare at them. I would always ask “Mum does this make me look like a slut?” before I went out because I was so paranoid of being just that. I wish I had listened to my mum. She used to say “there’s only a small window where you can get away with wearing that, do it!”.

I wish that I had the confidence to wear what I wanted when I was younger and I wish I embraced my figure because that’s all it is. My figure. A shell. It’s not who I am inside. I have pretty good boobs and I have long legs and I’m going to wear what I want to show them off because I like those features. But that’s because I am confident now. However, I’ve had to ignore many catcalls and unnecessary stares, many ass grabbings and boob stares and I’ve actually had enough. Do you know I’ve started walking on the left side of the road so I don’t have to see people coming towards me? Does this mean I should cover up a bit more to feel less of an object and less insecure and paranoid? Or should men not just so obviously stare directly at us or beep their horn or whistle?

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I actually find it unattractive when you stare or catcall. It’s more attractive to look at my face and talk to me. Or compliment how we look. Get to know me. And if you’re lucky. Then I’ll let you stare and admire my body. Until then, just stop. Or at least try to make it sly! Jesus!

Why do we get drunk?

(This is a bit of a random rant so excuse me but…)

Why do we get drunk?

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If someone can give me a valid answer to this question, then I will eat my hat! That’s how the saying goes right?

Many people say to me “Eurgh I’m gonna be so hungover on…” or “I’ll start that after the weekend because I’ll be so drunk, I won’t be able to do anything for a few days”.

People seem to think that a big event such as a holiday, a birthday, a festival etc involves getting absolutely wasted. But when people moan about the aftermath, what is the point?

Essentially, you are paying for something: a girls holiday for example. Don’t get me wrong, I went to Benidorm with my bestfriend and I spent the holiday drunk but the hangovers had got to have been the worst I’ve ever experienced. 

Lets think about this rationally= I paid for an amazing experience to spent a couple of hours enjoying being out of my head each day and double the time recovering each day.

How does that make sense?

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As well as this, why do people think that they need to get drunk to enjoy things in life?

I love partying and I love holidays but when people go overboard and drink excessively, are you really enjoying it? I know I wasn’t. Not as much as I do now.

Are you going to remember it?

Are you going to enjoy it to the full potential?

There’s nothing wrong with having a relaxing or social drink but most young people in England believe that binge drinking their way through weekends is the way to let off steam and enjoy themselves.

You have question why you feel that your source of fun is going out and getting really drunk. Some people might just generally enjoy it but I am actually still yet to meet someone who honestly drinks just for “fun”.

When I did my research project the two top findings as to why people binge drink were:

1/ to have fun but most of these people also picked number two.

2/ to make themselves feel better. This involved to build confidence, to forget things, to feel less anxious, to feel less depressed, to feel like they fit in. 

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Why work so hard for things in life to piss it up the wall with getting drunk?

I have no judgement. Of course, I don’t. I used to drink because I thought it was what I had to do to have fun. I thought I was enjoying myself. I thought that I thought it was fun. But really, I was masking a lot of unconscious anger, frustration and pain. I didn’t even realise I was repressing these feelings. I never let myself feel those things.

What I am trying to say is that before you go out and decide to get annihilated with your friends, ask yourself why you are going to get drunk? and what is the worst that can happen if you don’t get really drunk?

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101 days sober!

So, yesterday, I celebrated my 100 days sober!

I have gone from this …

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to this…

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I am so happy! In all honesty, sobriety feels normal to me now. It can still be tough at times but who I am as a person today is the best version of myself.

Becoming sober has made me realise a lot of things…

1/ Who my real friends are. I lost a lot of people and I chose to to distance myself from people too. But the people in my life right now are the best people and I ams so grateful to have them in my life.

2/ My depression backed off. My clouds are less grey and my shoulders are lighter. I can think more rationally and when I feel sad, I know that what I am feeling is real and it’s because of something that’s happened. Not because I have been drinking and my serotonin levels are confused and angry.

3/ I love myself. When I was drinking, I struggled to like myself. I’d have a drink and it would give me confidence. I’d have to a drink to forget. I’d have a drink to lose myself. I can’t do that now. Instead, I face my emotions, feelings, situations and I overcome them. It makes me love myself more because I feel true to myself.

4/ I had to find a balance. I have decided that if I am to go out into an environment with alcohol and drugs (e.g a party, a club), it needs to have one of these two things. Good company or a good reason. I have been out for the sake of it with people I’m not too confident around and my anxiety sky rockets and I either feel really uncomfortable or really bored. Instead, if I go out with the people I feel good around or for a reason (e.g work party, end of exams celebrations, birthday) then I seem to enjoy my self. This rule really works!

5/ I look great. I have had so many compliments on my image since being sober. In all honesty, this could be a range of things. Being sober has encouraged a healthier diet and regular gym sessions but as well as this, I am much happier. So it could be my weight loss, my clearer skin, my shinier hair or the smile on my face. Either way, it’s nice to hear compliments.

6/ It takes a lot for something to be a chore. When I was drinking, my hangovers were horrendous and I would feel so low for days after. Now, my head is clear. If I want something done, I do it. I don’t procrastinate, I just do it. Saying that, I still love to lay in bed all day and ignore the fact that my room is a mess. But what I mean is that nothing seems to hard.

7/ Life is much cheaper. Not only am I not paying for alcohol but I’m not paying for the extra travel on nights out or the greasy food at the end of the night. Sometimes, bars don’t even charge me for soft drinks. I’ll ask for blackcurrant squash with water or a redbull and I get a “don’t worry about it”. That is such a great feeling. It’s almost like a reward for being sober.

8/ I go to bed flawless. No emotional breakdowns causing my makeup to pour down my face. No streaky face from sweating. No panda eyes. No frizzy hair. Taking a selfie or a group picture is not an issue anymore.

9/ I wake up flawless. Literally. I wake up hydrated and fresh faced. I could get up and go for a run if I wanted too. In fact, I have gone for a run and at the same time, my friends have been throwing up hungover. It is really nice to not waste the day. Especially as my hangovers would last forever. I WOKE UP LIKE THIS.

However, there are some challenges of being sober…

1/ Asserting yourself. Some situations you want to avoid and can’t, like birthdays. Or you really want to socialise with your friends but the thought of going to a bar whilst they are all drunk can be tough. Each time I go out, I give myself a talking to and take the challenge head on. When I was drinking, I would talk to anyone and everyone. Being sober, it is a little more challenging. It’s scary. But at the same time, it’s exciting. I always come home feeling like I’ve been the best version of myself and I never leave with regrets.

2/ My anxiety is real. I always suffered hand in hand with depression and anxiety but being sober and having a clearer head, I know what I am feeling is real. My anxiety has seemed to increase a little but thats okay because every time I feel a wave of anxiety, I challenge it. My anxiety used to be for so many reasons and many of the thoughts came from regrets or confusion as to what I said or did when I was drunk. Now, my anxiety is is centred around having to answer people’s endless questions on my sobriety when I am in a social situation but I know that in time I won’t care anymore.

3/ Trying to find a replacement drink. At first, I would have redbull. That shit is not alcoholic but my god, it is strong. In fact, it made me have a panic attack. AVOID EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF CAFFEINE. Sometimes, I’ll have a coffee. Even then, I get the weirdest looks but I do love coffee. Although, it’s not possible to dance with a hot beverage in your hand and sometimes, it makes me want to sleep. Lime and soda is good choice. People just assume you’re drinking alcohol and you don’t have to constantly explain why you’re not drinking. Lastly, water. Water is FREE! and it keeps you hydrated. You can down it and not have to dance with a cup in your hand. Winning.

4/ Building your actual confidence rather than your liquid confidence. I love to dance but dancing sober can be scary. My biggest and best advice is to just not give a crap. I don’t have much shame anyway so dancing like a fool comes naturally to me. However, sometimes you get that “omg your sober, does anyone notice, are your dance moves okay, do they look sober” thoughts and it’s very off putting. In that scenario, let ya freak flag fly and shake dat ass. In all honesty, everyone is wasted and you will not be the worst dancer there, I promise.

5/ Reminding your friends you are still alive. Sometime’s people assume you don’t wanna party because you are sober. I love to party. Don’t sit back and wait for your friends to contact you because they will probably just assume you don’t want to be in that environment. If you wanna go out, then go out.

6/ Having to love your friends and family when they’re drinking and you’re not. I don’t judge anyone for drinking but being around my loved ones when they drink can bring back some awful memories. Especially if you used to drink with those people. This is just something you need to learn to deal with. Obviously, being sober, everything is more real. Seeing your friends absolutely wasted is funny when you are drunk but when you’re sober, you not only get reminded of yourself and your bad times but you become mumma-bear and want to protect them. In reality, they were probably always like that but because I was drunk, I didn’t notice… usually because I was the most drunk.

7/ You have to face reality. Everything you suppressed with drinking is now going to come to the surface and it’s time to deal with it. It can be really hard at first but give it time and you’ll be thankful that you’ve been brave and dealt with your demons.

8/ Coming to terms with your sobriety. This was probably the hardest thing to do. I wanted to be sober when I stopped and I am so glad I stopped drinking but there are times when you really punish yourself and you shouldn’t. I recently went through a tough time and instead of just facing the truth that these things just happen, I got angry at myself. I punished myself for who I was when I was drunk. I would hate on myself with thoughts like “why are you so ‘special’ that you need to be sober”, “you’re fucked up” and “why can’t you be like everyone else”. Luckily, I told myself to shut up and after a lot of internal arguments, those thoughts rarely come now. Those thoughts are reallllly stupid because I’m not fucked up and I don’t want to be like everyone else. Also, just become I’m sober, it doesn’t mean that I’m some weird alien species. I just stopped drinking. Thats all.

But despite all the challenges I have faced, the thing that I am most proud of is my bravery. I went to parties and clubs sober. I danced sober. I purposely pushed myself out of my comfort zone and did everything I usually did when I was drunk but this time, I did it sober. As well as this, I moved out of a house and environment that was making my mental and physical health worse. I sought professional help. I went back to the gym. I studied harder. I worked harder. I laughed harder. I started a society for people at University who want to enjoy their time without drugs or alcohol. I am saving for a mental health placement in Sri Lanka. I have two summer jobs. I have strengthened friendships and I have found a balance in life where it is no longer all or nothing. I am no longer drowning in the river of emotions, I am now chilling on the riverbank watching the emotions flow past. 

Choosing to change your life in a positive way which is socially rejected can be extremely hard but I have done it and I will continue to do it.

I am still Kelly. I’m still funny and loud. I still dance like no-ones watching. I still say really inappropriate things. I still make mistakes. But this time, I have more control of who I am and I love myself and that is all I want in life. I don’t care if you think I’m boring or think less of me because of my choice to free myself. I’m less boring than I ever was and I will continue to enjoy life to its full potential.

Lastly, I may have done the majority of things on my own but I have to thank everyone who has supported me. You may not have understood my choices but the fact that you were still there by my side has made this so much easier. Even if you ‘just read this blog’, it is such a huge support and I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you guys x

 

 

Feeling ‘High On Life’!

Today, I received the best news.

My goal of creating a society for people who don’t drink or take drugs was accepted.

Here, I present: High On Life society!

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YAAAAY FRICKING YAYYYY.

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After first, we were rejected. We were told there were societies at the university that do not push drinking (boardgames, harry potter, oddsoc). We were also told there is a lot of support at the uni for people who struggle with substances. I felt really misunderstood. It wasn’t about that. It was about meeting people with similar lifestyles and not feeling pressured to drink or take drugs.

I decided I wouldn’t give up so I collected statements from everyone who wanted to be apart of the society and wrote an email expressing the high demand for the society. After several emails sent back and forth, we got an appeal. As I was at home, three people in the society volunteered to go in my place and thank god they did because they did a wonderful job! AND WE FINALLY GOT ACCEPTED AS AN OFFICIAL SOCIETY!

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University is great but it can also be incredibly hard if you don’t follow the party life drinking student stereotype. In fact, University can be hard full stop, let alone battling with your own life choices not to drink or take drugs.

The society idea came about when I stopped drinking and struggled to find fun things to do that I enjoyed without alcohol or drugs. Whilst, there were societies that do not push alcohol, I did not enjoy their focus e.g boardgames and after searching online for local groups of people who do not drink, I only found people of the older generation. There were also many support groups but I did not want to go to those, I just wanted to make friends who did not drink for whatever reason and have fun, just like I did when I was drinking but without the alcohol.

Many events and nights out are centred around the party lifestyle and despite still loving to party, it can be really hard when your sober to turn up and remain confident without your liquid confidence. Especially when people question you as a person for not drinking. Even more so when people think they can persuade you to drink.

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I have nothing against anyone drinking. Most of my friends drink. In fact, all of them do and I love them all. But sometimes, you need that option. You need an option to socialise with people who have a similar lifestyle to you in relation to substances.

I have tried to find people at university who don’t drink or take drugs for whatever reason and I have found it so hard. I started to feel isolated. But hey presto, I didn’t give up and I managed to find people who felt exactly the same as I did!

As well as feeling confident in my life choices now, I feel so relieved that I have found people from all walks of life who do not drink/take drugs for whatever reason. It is so refreshing. I finally feel like I’m not so ‘odd’. Finally, I feel like sobriety or just not obsessing over alcohol and drugs is becoming normality for a lot of people.

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High On Life society is going to be three things:

  • A sense of belonging: we all want to feel a part of something and all of the societies at university involve alcohol one way or another.
  • The chance to network: to finally meet people who choose to have a good time without substances.
  • To have fun without pressure: just because we don’t drink or take drugs does not mean we are boring. I am going to make it my mission to prove to the world that you don’t need alcohol and drugs to have fun. We are going to do everything that drinkers and drug takers do, just without the substances.

I can’t describe how happy I am that the society was finally accepted. People can do what they want in their spare time but our socials are going to be fun without substances. To know that when we meet up for socials, people will all be there for the same reason; To have fun without alcohol or drugs. Makes me sooo happy!

PLEASE DON’T EVER GIVE UP. IF YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING, YOU CAN STILL ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL DESPITE BEING TOLD YOU CAN’T!

Ahhhh I can’t even write anymore, I’m tooooo happy 🙂

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Kelly, out.

 

 

 

Because going into an environment where people are absolutely smashed is a great idea for a sober person…

I wonder if anyone really understands how hard it is to be in an environment where drugs and alcohol are being consumed and to not use either. 

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It’s not necessarily hard because I want to do those things but it is emotionally and mentally draining. The triggers and constant reminders of what has happened, who you were, who you could be and so much more.

People may look at me like I am boring but I am fucking strong. I’m not sorry for swearing.

I didn’t drink any alcohol, I didn’t touch a drug and I didn’t even smoke a cigarette. The closest to drunk I got was the red wine that was spilt down my jeans by my drunk friend.

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On reflection of my choice to go a festival yesterday, why on earth would I go into an environment where everyone is doing the extreme of something I don’t want to do. Am I crazy or am I crazy?

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People weren’t drinking to have a nice time. People were drinking to get smashed. They were absolutely lamp-shaded! Everyone. Everywhere. Am I crazy? 

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It’s like if you were trying to give up smoking, you wouldn’t go and stand with someone smoking. But it’s as if I went and spent my whole day in a packed smoking area with people chain-smoking.

KELLY, ARE YOU CRAY? GIRL, YOU CRAY! 

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Since last night, I have felt in despair. Desperate. Frustrated. Angry. Why have I been dealt this card? When I submerge myself into environments where there is excessive drugs and alcohol, I always face this question. I act as if not drinking or taking drugs is a punishment. Like I am holding myself back.

WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP.

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By not drinking I am giving myself a chance at the best life possible. I am freeing myself of things that have a negative affect on myself. I wouldn’t feel bad for giving up cake so why do I feel bad for giving up alcohol? It’s ridiculous. I am not being punished, I am rewarding myself with life.

At the same time, I am so proud of my determinism for a better life. I am proud of the determinism to not take drugs and drink alcohol and I am proud of the control I have over myself despite the constant voices in my head arguing and telling me what I should be doing.

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It makes me sad because the only reason I think I should be doing those things is because society has taught me that’s what people do and it is the norm.

The decision to stop drinking was the best one I’ve made and I don’t regret it. I don’t miss it. I don’t think about when I’m going to have my next drink. However, I feel like I am really having to question a lot about my life right now. 

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So many questions are flying through my head… Like am I going to find a potential life partner who isn’t going to want to get drunk all the time? Will I ever make good friends who aren’t going to get drunk all the time? Are the people in my life right now honestly supporting my decision or are they making it harder? Am I always going to be socialised into a heavy drinking environment? Do I need to be putting up with this shit?

Yesterday’s antics stressed me out so much that I dreamt about drinking alcohol. Ridiculous.

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At the end of the day, people have their own lives and their own choices. But I stand by mine. I am proud. So goddamn proud that I am sober. I really love life and I don’t want to die with any regret. So watch this space.

I am sober and I am far from boring.

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Self-harm does not mean you are suicidal! It means you are fighting!

Many people pull a face or shudder at the thought of self-harm but why?

Do you actually know what self-harm is? Here, I’ll tell you…

Self-harm is when you deliberately hurt yourself to cope with unwanted feelings or emotions, painful memories or overwhelming situations and it is a form of control.

People self-harm for various reasons and it is very subjective. One person’s self-harm is not the same as another person’s self-harm.

Firstly, here are some lovely stereotypical stigmatised comments that a self harmer may experience:

  • “You’re an attention seeker”
  • ” Go slit your wrists”
  • “What an emo”
  • “They obviously want to kill themselves”

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These are first hand comments I have received. In fact, they are a little tamer than the real comments.

People who make comments like these are not necessarily horrible people, they are just uneducated around mental health and why someone may deliberately self-harm themselves.

Did you know that self-harm is not simply “slitting your wrists”

You can self-harm in various ways including:

  • cutting yourself
  • burning yourself
  • poisoning yourself
  • over-eating
  • under-eating
  • biting yourself
  • picking or scratching at your skin
  • inserting objects into your body
  • hitting walls
  • hitting yourself
  • overdosing
  • excessive exercise
  • pulling your hair
  • getting into deliberate fights
  • taking drugs excessively
  • drinking excessively

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Ever done one of these when you were angry/upset/mad? Are you now going to label yourself as a self-harmer? Didn’t think so.

Many people self-harm for a tonne of reasons.

The reasons behind self-harm could be to:

  • express themselves when it is too hard to put into words
  • turn emotional pain into physical pain
  • feel in control
  • escape traumatic events/memories
  • punish yourself
  • actually feel something because you are numb
  • stop feeling overwhelmed with emotions
  • quickly fix your problems
  • express suicidal feelings without actively being suicidal

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Personally, it was a way for me to deal with my emotions. I would try and be strong for everyone around me and I would end up getting lost in dark thoughts and the only way to free myself would be to self-harm. It was a way of physically dealing with my emotions. Sometimes, it was a form of punishment. Sometimes, I needed it to feel alive again. It made me feel in control but then, it became an addiction.

I lived with self-harm for such a long time and it scares me to say that sometimes, I miss it. 

I try to explain to people that like when you are stressed and have a cigarette or a drink, I would self-harm. When you have done something repeatedly for so long, it becomes comfortable. Self-harm doesn’t make you a bad person and it doesn’t make you weak. It is a coping mechanism. It shows that you want to keep fighting and you’re looking for a way to feel better. IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT YOU WANT TO END YOUR LIFE.

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Also, a true “self-harmer” does not walk around showing off their cuts, burns, injuries to the world. Self-harming is personal. If someone shows off their injuries, it is normally for attention.

HOWEVER…

You need to ask yourself why is this person craving attention before you stand there abusing them. Clearly, something in their life is lacking and maybe they just want to be noticed. Maybe, the only attention they have even received is negative attention.

It doesn’t matter why someone self-harms, whether they confide in you or you just notice it, approach them with a kind heart and ask them if they are okay. Maybe just hug them. Tell them you are there.

But remember, they are stronger than you think because they are still fighting. So support them in their fight. Don’t criticise their coping mechanisms. Just advice healthier and more positive ones. Show them better options.

I remember a counsellor telling me to self harm safely. Use clean instruments. Clean the wounds. Look after it.

When someone understands you are in pain and doesn’t criticise you for your actions, you already feel like you want to get better. It is encouraging to know you are not insane.

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If you tell someone what they are doing is wrong, they will feel even worse and will continue to use negative coping mechanisms.

Support is the way forward and I am so grateful for everyone who has supported me on my journey. Believe me, I remember every single person who has helped me.

But don’t forget, along with remembering all the good people and the support received, someone struggling with their mental health with remember every negative judgement or comment that has been made to them.

After battling with self-harm since I was 12 years old, I finally feel in control. You can beat it. You may miss it. You will probably think about it every day of your life but there is life beyond self-harm. I promise!

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Below are some helplines if you want to talk or want some information about self-harm:

https://www.selfinjurysupport.org.uk/

http://www.harmless.org.uk/

http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us

http://www.themix.org.uk/mental-health/self-harm/steps-to-self-harm-recovery-5697.html?gclid=CKzr39CJ69MCFYgp0wod3SMOFQ