One of the hardest things about caring for someone is that when that person hurts, you hurt. It's only natural to want to make the pain go away. But when you love a self-harming partner, things are rarely that simple.
Self-Injury and Relationships
So much is being said these days about self-love as the opposite of self-harm. We often read about practicing kindness towards our bodies, spoiling ourselves with nice things, or repeating positive affirmations. Even I said so in one of my articles. But the thing about loving ourselves is that it’s not an overnight process. It requires a lot of work, and sometimes it’s hard to love yourself if you don’t even like yourself. So is self-love the realistic opposite of self-harm?
Explaining self-harm scars to your boyfriend (or any romantic partner) can be a daunting prospect to face. How do you know whether you're ready to disclose your past, and what can you expect when you do?
When you're in recovery, you measure progress not by time or distance, but by milestones. If you know someone working through this process, a self-harm recovery gift can be a nice way to show your support and celebrate these milestones together.
Self-harm and isolation caused by the pandemic are a dangerous pair. Everyone is struggling to cope during these difficult times. Even the strongest and most resilient people I know have been affected by pandemic fatigue, which often comes with depression and anxiety symptoms. Unsurprisingly, our self-harm urges can also become worse as the future is so uncertain. It’s times like these that we need to look after one another and stay united.
Trust is a necessary ingredient in any healing process. For those who self-harm, opening up about this habit enough to build a viable self-injury support network requires an enormous amount of trust—but the results are worth it.
Seeing your self-harming friend suffer in silence can't be easy. However, sometimes trying to help can only make things worse. Approaching your friend with patience, kindness, and understanding is vital.
I never thought that coping with self-harm using nature could be so effective. When I was at my lowest, nothing seemed to help control the chaos that reigned my head. My self-harm was getting out of control, to the point that I was counting down the minutes to my next episode until I started walking six miles a day.
It may be difficult to imagine how self-harm affects others when no one even knows (at least to your knowledge) that you're hurting yourself. Pain, however, always causes a ripple effect.
There are few things that make you feel more helpless than seeing a loved one suffer from self-harm and not knowing how to make the suffering stop. Suffering, in most cases, is out of our hands. It is not within our direct control. With self-harm, it can be doubly frustrating because not only is it something outside of our control, but it also something that we often cannot even comprehend. It is a suffering that's both foreign and cruelly over-familiar, affecting everyone from our closest friends and romantic partners to members of our family.