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The recent Oscar scene where Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith resulting in Will Smith slapping him on television has brought up controversy regarding jokes and abuse. Although we may never know the background or extent of history between these two people, it brings this question to light. Is making jokes considered verbal abuse? 
Therapy has been one of the most effective tools I have used in addiction recovery to help heal some of my inner wounds. It has provided me a space where I have felt safe to speak my truth and unpack any trauma, drama, guilt, and shame that has been stuck inside of me. Therapy helped me change my relationship with alcohol and guided me to build a more loving and compassionate relationship with myself.
When people ask me how my knee surgery for a torn meniscus went, the first thing I blurt out is that I had a nightmare while under anesthesia. Talk about being socially awkward. I definitely wasn’t expecting that to happen, but when you live with schizoaffective disorder, I guess all terrors of the mind are possible.
Self-injury can be a difficult topic to discuss, whether you're sharing your own experiences or trying to offer support to someone else. Careful consideration of the self-harm language you use can help you have more meaningful (and helpful) conversations.
In my last post, I discussed my self-esteem battle working as an actor and how that can translate to other lines of work. I spoke on the importance of knowing that sometimes progress is made in ways that aren't immediately visible. Today, I'd like to talk about the types of progress that I can control. In doing this, I'll identify some areas that I'd like to improve and how doing that helps me achieve my goals and build self-esteem.
As someone who has experienced anxiety for a long time, I’ve become aware of specific situations that trigger feeling anxious. One situation that can trigger my anxiety is when I make a mistake, and then anxiety makes me focus on that mistake. The problem with this is that, as we know, mistakes happen often. There, this can sometimes be something that’s continuously troubling.
Self-compassion doesn't come easily for me. However, where once I was quite hard on myself, I've made administering self-compassion part of my routine. Now that I've got my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) under control, being self-compassionate and reminding myself of personal progress are even more important.
A successful attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) recovery just means you’ve successfully learned how to live with ADHD. This can be a long journey but is worth it. Learn how I started my successful ADHD recovery.
Sometimes—not too often, but occasionally—I stand in front of the full-length mirror on my bathroom wall and ask the reflection staring back at me, "Will I ever learn to love all the parts of my own body?" This can be a complicated question for someone with an eating disorder history, and as of right now, I do not have a clear, definitive answer. 
In my previous post, I wrote about working less to cope with a surge in depression. Soon after, I realized that I was not only more depressed than usual, but I was also experiencing severe burnout. In fact, I have never burned out to such a degree in my life, and honestly, it's terrifying. But now that I have a potent cocktail of burnout and depression to deal with, I have strengthened my resolve to rest well.

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Kim Berkley
Hi Lexie,

Thanks for your comment. First, I would urge your friend to consider coming out to her parents about her self-harm if that's at all possible—I know for many people, this can help alleviate an otherwise pretty heavy secret to bear. However, I do understand that in some cases, this may do more harm than good—I will have to leave that up to your friend's judgment.

If disclosure is not an option, could your friend perhaps try arm bands? I've seen some quite pretty ones made to be worn on your upper arm—looking for adjustable ones might help to ensure they fit well and don't slide down during the day. Many of the ones I've seen are plastic or metal, but elastic armbands are also possibly an option. Temporary tattoos or body art to cover the area might also work, depending on whether she can wear anything like that at all on her skin.

I hope that helps. If you have more questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave a comment here or elsewhere on the blog. I'll be reading.


Sincerely,
Kim
Kim Berkley
Hello,

Thank you for your comment. Know that it's not unusual to feel this way—I've seen many comments (since I started writing here) about fading scars triggering urges to self-harm again, even long after the recovery period has begun. I'm glad that you're trying to keep from going back to self-harming—and that you decided to reach out for some support in doing so.

Before I suggest anything, a reminder: I am not a therapist or mental health professional. I would strongly urge you to connect with one if you feel able to—I think that kind of dedicated support would help you not only with your current predicament, but any other complications that might arise during the healing process.

That being said, there are two things that I personally think are worth considering:

1) Do you think covering your scars completely would help, or make the urges worse? It's possible that if your eye isn't drawn to them in the first place, they might be less triggering for you. If you're not already doing so, be sure to take good care of the skin in that area and think about whether wearing simple coverup makeup, super-lightweight tights/leggings, or even just slightly longer shorts (depending on where your scars are) might help reduce the effect your scars are having on you. If you try this, keep tabs on how you're feeling—if it makes your urges worse in any way, stop right away.

2) The other, more sustainable option (in fact, I would urge you to consider this even if you also try covering them up) is to work on managing your stress and managing your response to this trigger. Since you can't completely avoid your scars (or the fact that they've faded), the main thing is to work through your feelings about this and find ways to cope when the urges come on. I've written a few articles about this, hopefully you will find something useful in them:

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/2/using-self-harm-urge-surfing-for-recovery
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/10/emotional-regulation-and-self-harm-recovery
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/5/alternatives-to-using-self-harm-to-regulate-emotions
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/3/self-harm-recovery-coping-skills-to-help-you-heal


I hope that helps. Feel free to reply here or comment elsewhere on the blog if you have more questions, concerns, etc. Take care.


Sincerely,
Kim
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