A Letter to Future Me, Who Will Have Recovered From Self-Harm


Dear Recovered Me,

If you are reading this is, we made it through. I wish it was you writing this letter to me to give me the certainty I will make it – and some advice, if you can. I guess I don’t have to tell you how hard it is, but I’ll recall it anyway.

I have days where it is hard to keep my mind away from the pain. I think about going back to those old habits that hurt us. I try to project myself in you, but it seems so blurry and almost unreachable. I imagine you are reading this letter now and thinking how silly I am (don’t laugh, remember I’m you); and that is good, because it will mean I was wrong and there was no need to torture myself every night with my thoughts.

I’m trying to imagine how you’d look… Do you still have the scars? Do they make you sad or make you stronger? Are you finally happy or have you just resigned yourself to life? I have a lot of questions.

I think of you as a strong person, now that you have recovered from this hell. It doesn’t really matter if you have the scars; they will be like medals on a soldier’s chest. I want and need to believe if you’ve conquered the battle against self-harm, you are able to do amazing things in your life; because there is no harder battle I’ve ever known than fighting an invisible illness that kills you slowly. An illness some question. 

I just want to ask you one more thing. Never forget the pain I’m feeling right now. Do not dwell in it, but it will keep your heart sensitive to others’ pain. I want you to leave traces of hope as you go — hope that can light up this darkness we are going through. I want to meet you someday not so far in the future and be proud of you, not only because you made it, but because you helped others too. And most important, I want us to be the same person: recovered, empathetic and stronger than ever.

Thanks for inspiring me to keep moving.

Love,

Me

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Self-harm

What Channeling My Self-Harm Urges Made Me Realize About My Darkness

Editor’s note: If you struggle with self-harm, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Today I had one of the worst days I’ve had in a long while. Today I almost succumbed to the Darkness in my head for the first time in over five years. [...]
Woman on the summer beach

To Anyone Staring at My Scars While I'm Enjoying the Sun

The scars I have littering my thigh are from a war I fought all on my own. The fact that it’s been over three years since the last wound was made doesn’t weaken the temptations I feel. But the healing scars remind me how strong I’ve become. I marked each wound as a battle I lost. Now [...]
mom talking to son

Self-Harm: The Conversation You Need to Start With Your Kids

Starting the conversation is perhaps the hardest part. How do you bring up a topic that the majority of society will not acknowledge as anything more than a teenage phase of attention seeking? How often is it brought to light in the media? Is it an illness on its own or a by-product of some form of depression or other [...]
young woman in the dark

The Stigma of Self-Injury: Revealing My Scars to the World

Editor’s note: This post contains language that may be triggering if you have dealt with or are dealing with self-harm. If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I like to think of it as a “mark of Cain.” I’m covered in scars. When my self-injury was at its worst, I [...]