When I decided to start this blog – long before it also took the form of a website – I determined, and thus made a vow to myself, that I would do my best to always be open and honest and to not shy away from matters that were controversial or unpopular or difficult.
Since making that very clear and conscious decision I have – to all intent and purposes – very often laid myself bare and stood emotionally, mentally and spiritually naked for all the world (or more realistically the tiny little part of the world who actually read this blog or visit this site) to see. And trust me, my not standing physically naked before you really is a blessing 🙂
Actually, when it comes to my mental health and even when it comes to my voices I try to be open and honest and have to admit that only occasionally do I experience reluctant or hesitation in doing so. I figure how can I expect others not to assign any stigma to mental illness and those who suffer from it if I am assigning it to myself?
But when it comes to my self-harming it is a totally different matter. I experience far more reluctance and far greater hesitation when it comes to posting anything about this. Partly because I truly do believe self-harming, still has a huge stigma attached to it and partly because I am very conscious of and don’t want to add to anyone’s struggle with this.
However, studies show that writing and talking about this in a careful and sensitive way actually helps rather than hinders and so I have made the following decisions…
- I will not allow stigma to deter me from writing about this issue, my personal battle with it or from highlighting the issue of Self Harming, Self Injuring or Self abuse.
- I will, through my blog and my writing, seek to raise awareness of this issue and thus try to educate folk as to the needs, causes and difficulties experienced in respect of it.
- I will, through my blog and my writing, acknowledge that the reasons and motivations for such actions are numerous and diverse and are not limited to those of my own.
- I will, through my blog and my writing, acknowledge that the methodology chosen for such actions are also numerous and diverse and not limited to those of my own.
- I will, through my blog and my writing recognize and acknowledge that self-harming can very often be as much a symptom of other issues as it is an issue in its own right.
- I will, when writing my blog, actively seek to address the stigma and harmful, judgmental or negative attitudes all too often applied in respect of this issue.
- I will be very careful when composing a piece or indeed approving comments related to this issue,
- I will openly but sensitively share any experience or knowledge that I have relating to this issue and that comes from my own personal battle with it or my involvement in the experiences of those who are close to me and for whom I have great love and affection.
- I will encourage other sufferers to seek help and support in their battle with this issue.
- I will display a logo on this site to show my commitment to this.
In terms of my own struggle with this issue it all started a very long time ago now and whilst it is at the moment pretty much under control I am of course very much aware that it is something that seems to be linked to my emotional, mental and physical health and as a result may well reappear at anytime even after long periods of absence.
Additionally, other members of my family also have struggles in this respect and I have to be honest here, their struggles always seem far more important to me than my own.
My personal reasons or motivations and indeed my personal methodology is, I feel, better suited for discussion in a different post but what I do want to say in this post is that there is hope and that there is help available.
One of the hardest and most harmful parts of this whole thing for me personally has to be the after-effects and the resultant emotions and thought processes from having taken the choice or course of action of actually harming myself. Having to look at, attend to, and live with, the resultant wounds, often painful reminders and in some ways suggestive outcomes of my self-harming.
It is my fervent and sincere hope that by deciding to be more open about this issue in my life I can not only help combat it within my own life but also within the lives of other suffers, whilst at the same time providing an additional recourse for those who care for people also struggling with this issue.