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Living alone has either been the best thing for me or the worst, and it fluctuates often. As an adult living with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it's easy to stray from the task at hand or spend a whole day doing nothing.
I recently realized there is a safety to wanting nothing. In spite of the fact that wanting nothing in and of itself is horrible, that safety can actually feel comfortable -- especially after a long time.
Receiving words of affirmation does not come naturally to me. My instinctive reflex is to feel uncomfortable whenever someone compliments me—even if the person doling out this kindness is a family member, close friend, or my partner. I automatically want to minimize the compliment, so as to deflect attention as far from myself as possible. But as I continue to live out the process of eating disorder recovery, learning to receive affirmation feels like the next step in my healing.
I have aphantasia, a neurodiversity whereby I am unable to visualize. Most of you reading this now can easily imagine a sunset or a calm lake or fluffy white clouds against a crisp, blue sky. I simply cannot conjure images. Having a blind imagination, as it's sometimes called, used to trigger my anxiety insomuch as my inability to visualize used to cause frustration, anger, confusion, shame, and a feeling of failure.
During my mental health journey, I have experienced the harmful effects of stigma for learning disabilities and mental illness. In school, students bullied me for being the last person to finish tests. Therefore, I thought I was stupid. The stigma placed upon me by my classmates led me to shame (or stigmatize) myself. Thankfully, I have gained many strategies to stop self-stigma from controlling my life. Here are five techniques I use to reduce self-stigma.
"Wow, you look so pretty in that dress." -- Compliments like these are hard to accept when you have anxiety. 
Around this time last year, I decided to cancel my gym membership. I wanted to try a new way of exercising that would help me lean into my recovery from binge eating disorder (BED). I'd been experiencing a deep shift of motivation in my recovery, and I was encouraged by my counselor and my partner to try something new. I had a feeling I'd outgrown my gym routine and I wanted to experience a new way to interact with my body. 
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that I’m someone who can become overwhelmed fairly easily. Sometimes, I think it developed in my adulthood, but maybe it’s just something I never noticed or had the words to identify as a child. Whatever the case, being overwhelmed negatively impacts my mental health, and I want to talk about it to address the stigma around it.
The phrase "clean eating" is often used in wellness circles to denote a preference for natural, organic foods over artificial, processed ingredients. At face value, this is undeniably beneficial. After all, the human body requires essential nutrients to function, many of which come from vegetables, fruits, and other whole foods. It's important to be mindful of this. However, I feel using the word "clean" to talk about eating habits is problematic. In extreme cases, I worry it could even influence eating disorder behaviors. In my humble opinion, clean eating is not healthy—it's a harmful trend with potentially serious consequences.
For those who know me best, I have a strong desire to take responsibility for many things. From making sure everything with a friendly gathering goes exactly as I planned to the time the kids need picking up from their activities. My spouse is no stranger to my anxiety-driven internal scheduler, whom he refers to as my need to control everything. As a victim of verbal abuse, has my anxiety turned into attempts to control everything?

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Kim Berkley
Hi Amara,

Thank you for your comment. I'm glad to hear you're getting professional support to help you through this, although I'm sorry you're still hurting. I understand about not wanting to disclose the truth about your scars, to your parents or to anyone else—although I do hope you and your doctor have discussed, and keep discussing, the topic of talking with your parents, because if you are ever able to, it might be more helpful (for you AND for them) than you think. That depends, of course, on your unique family situation, which I obviously don't know much about.

In the meantime, I'm not sure I can think of many options I haven't outlined in this post. I think makeup is still your best bet—it might take some practice, but there are lots of tutorials on YouTube and the internet that can help you get better at using it. Or temporary tattoos—I know it might sound random, but it could be a beautiful way to cover up if you think it would work in your situation. If your bracelets keep falling, maybe try arm cuffs or elastic armbands, for me those always stayed put better than regular bracelets.

I hope that helps. If you have more questions/concerns, I'm here.

Sincerely,
Kim
Kim Berkley
Hi Francesca,

Thank you for your comment. I wish I could give you a concrete answer to your question, but I am not a doctor, and everyone's body is different—I can't give you an exact timeline for when, or even if, your scars will heal and fade completely. If they are recent and shallow, it is likelier that they will heal and fade soon, possibly entirely. The longer you've had them, the lower the chance that they will completely go away on their own. The best thing you can do is to take good care of the skin in the affected area. Keep it clean, maybe use aloe gel or a lotion containing vitamin E, to encourage healing (just be sure you use a product that's safe for your skin type, and don't go overboard). Otherwise, it's somewhat up to nature whether they will fade or not.

You do have options for removing them in the future if you deem it necessary. In the meantime, if they don't fade in time, I've written a few pieces about hiding scars in the summer:

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/3/hiding-self-harm-scars-in-swimsuit-season
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/9/self-harm-scars-in-the-summer

I hope those articles help, and I hope you and your scars begin healing soon. Let me know if you have any other questions/concerns/comments/etc. Take care.

Sincerely,
Kim
Lexie
My friends got self harm scars on her upper arm and wants to hide them from her family she can't wear sleeves or use any makeup any recommendations would really help
Molly
Verbal abuse from a male neighbour.... I have experienced intimidating behaviour from my male neighbour, at first he appeared pleasant but his behaviour changed. I would hear him shouting and swearing in his house during the day and night, and then there was a period when he started to bang on my front door, when I answered he would yell things like what's wrong or are you ok which was odd and made me nervous. I did try and ask him at a later time if there was a problem but he would slam his front door and not talk with me. In the end I rang the local police more for advise and to make them aware, they were very supportive and made a report saying it was a form of harrassment, their advise avoid contact with him which I do. He still continues to shout when in his house but he no longer bangs on my door, I genuinely believe if I was a man he wouldn't have behaved this way. His male friend stood outside my back gate on Sunday night ringing the bell and shouting at my dogs, I didn't want to confront this man as I live alone but I was glad I'd locked the back gate earlier. Again I have no clue as to why this happened, it really upset me and left me physically shaking and unsettled in my own home.
Moona
I'm so sorry for you peter, stay strong. I experienced a lot of the signs followed and I think you should get professional help or join an in-person or online group to find that there are people like you and that you're not alone. it's amazing that you've held on for so long, you're inspirational and you should be able to be at peace at this age surrounded by those you love. good luck and lots of love.