Healing from Self-Harm on Your Own

April 30, 2020 Kim Berkley

Self-harm is an intimate act. Recovery, too, is a highly personal journey in many ways. But is healing from self-harm possible on your own?

The Solitary Work of Healing from Self-Harm

Building healthy support systems and seeking out professional, medical help are some of the most important tools in your self-harm recovery arsenal. Guilt, shame, and hopelessness can all trick you into believing you have to do this on your own, but it simply isn't true.

However, I would argue that, to some extent, healing from self-harm is an inherently solitary journey. Friends, family, and clinicians provide valuable support—but just as columns alone don't make a coliseum, if you want to recover, there is some work and effort you must put into the process that will be solely your own.

It will ultimately be up to you to learn how to ask for help when you need it and to accept it graciously. Likewise, your choices, more than anyone else's, will be the guiding light on your path to recovery. No one else can make the decision to heal from self-harm for you, and no one but you can decide what your reasons are for pursuing recovery—or whether those reasons are worth the effort.

That being said, the truth still bears repeating: help for self-harm is available. You do not have to walk this path alone.

Asking for, and Accepting, Help with Healing from Self-Harm

Just because your support systems can't do the hard work of healing from self-harm for you doesn't mean you won't need help along the way. Therapy can be incredibly useful, even if you think you don't need it, though it is also true that it is not necessarily the right answer for everyone. You may lack the budget (though be sure to look for low-cost options with sliding scales before ruling it out solely for this reason). You may lack the time (though I would argue that your health is by far more valuable an investment than anything else you could be doing with your time). Or, you may lack options that you feel comfortable with.

Whatever the case, even if therapy truly is not a valid option at this time, healing from self-harm is still possible. You have other options to turn to for help. Support groups, especially online ones, can be an excellent source of convenient camaraderie you can turn to for advice or simply to vent feelings or frustrations. Friends and family, people you trust, can lend an empathetic ear. Hotlines can provide comfort and clarity when you're feeling overwhelmed.

As someone who spent the better part of a decade healing from self-harm on her own, I can attest that yes, it is possible to heal without disclosing your self-harm habit to anyone. Simply knowing that you have people you could turn to, if you wanted to, can still lift some of the burden of recovery from your shoulders. However, it is because I went through it alone that I am so adamant now about encouraging others to not do the same. It is only now that I am opening up about my experience that I realize just how heavily the truth weighed on me for so long—and how much lighter I feel now that it's no longer mine alone to bear.

How is healing from self-harm on your own going for you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Editorial remark: We respect everyone's experience, and at HealthyPlace, we always recommend professional help for the serious issue of self-harm.

APA Reference
Kim Berkley (2020, April 30). Healing from Self-Harm on Your Own, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 24 from

Author: Kim Berkley

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