Where Can You Find Motivation for Self-Harm Recovery?

July 10, 2013 Jennifer Aline Graham

Sometimes, people telling you to just stop cutting or burning or scratching is not enough motivation to actually stop the self-injury behavior. It is like asking someone not to text their ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend when they’re staring at a message. It is something they should not do, but they can’t help themselves, so they do it.

It is much more difficult to find a motivating factor to help stop self-harm than many believe. Of course, there is therapy and family and friendships (self-injury treatment), but in the mind of a severe self-injurer, sometimes that is not enough.

It often takes time to find motivation to begin self-harm recovery and end this addictive struggle with self-harm.

My Motivation for Self-Harm Recovery

II found my motivation to stop self-harming by working at a camp for children with cancer.’ve always struggled with motivation. Even now, it takes a lot of self-talk to get me out of bed in the morning and off to work. During the difficult years of self-harm, I didn’t have a real desire to stop my cutting, which is how many self-injurers feel. I’d been talking to therapists and psychiatrists, but when I was in a really manic spot, I couldn’t physically stop myself.

The summer before my senior year of high school was the time I found my motivation. I volunteered at a place called Camp Good Days and Special Times – a non-profit organization that helps children and families who have been touched my cancer. Being a cancer survivor, I decided to take a shot at being a counselor at this camp for a week.

I came back with my motivation.

During that one week, I realized that there were people out there struggling worse than I was. I realized that I felt selfish to feel suicidal at times and to cut my arms up when children’s arms were being constantly scarred by IV needles and medications.

After this week at Camp Good Days, I decided to really push myself to end my self-harm. I put effort in at therapy and started writing my first novel (which I finished a year later). I still struggled with self-harm for two more years after this experience, but the cutting did not happen on a daily basis, as it had been, and I was focusing more attention on me, not my cutting.

Where Can You Find Your Motivation to Stop Self-Harm?

The question is, do you really want to stop self-harming? Ask yourself that again because you may have said yes, but you have to mean it – really mean it. It took an eye-opening experience for me to realize I needed to change things, but some people don’t have that opportunity.

Therefore, it is all up to you.

Do something for yourself everyday. If you start doing that, start doing it more. Maybe you’re a writer or an athlete or a musician. Take the time to focus on those things, especially when you are feeling negative urges. After Camp Good Days, I began outlining my first novel and when I felt upset, I went right to the computer.

Or, as I did, try something totally new. Get a job at a place you never would have thought you’d work at. Instead of coming home and doing nothing, which may lead to negative thoughts, you’d be going to a job to stay busy. Volunteer for a camp like I did, and still do, or try a new hobby. Staying busy may help you find the motivation you need to move forward in a positive way.

You can also find Jennifer Aline Graham on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and her personal blog is here.

APA Reference
Aline, J. (2013, July 10). Where Can You Find Motivation for Self-Harm Recovery?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Jennifer Aline Graham

miss elizabeth
August, 16 2014 at 12:43 pm

Thank you for the post.
I too am a recovering Self-harmer, to those that have not found the motivation, don't feel ashamed and don't give up on yourselves, if you found your way to this post, you are already looking for ideas about a new way to cope.
I found my motivation, by spending time with 'headway' an organisation which helps sufferers of brain injuries; a sub-group of which are suicide survivors, many of the people that I spent time with have been left with severe dysfunction. I joined a mental health support group, got a referral to a therapeutic community, which kept my motivation to break my self harm habit very high; watching others, watching each other, really helped me. I am nearly two years free of SH.
May I suggest, rubber bands, ice-cubes, bubble wrap, and tearing magazines, for those at the beginning stages of wanting to break this habit.
Don't give up, keep strong try not to give in to the urge.
May you find a release for peace without harm to yourself.

July, 11 2013 at 6:49 pm

I am a self harmer. Thank you for posting this.

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