The Text That Meant the Most in My Self-Harm Recovery

I have a really weird coping mechanism when it comes to self-harm. I saw it on Pinterest once, and though I’ve read the lists that include hundreds of alternatives to self-harm, this one is the only one that has ever really worked for me. The meaning behind it is healing before hurting. So, instead of cutting and then putting a Band-Aid on the cut, the alternative is to put a Band-Aid where you’re tempted to, or have an urge to cut. Then, even if you get to the point where you pull out something sharp, you can make cuts on the Band-Aid instead of your skin.

Well, I was eating dinner with some friends the other night, and I guess I still had a Band-Aid on from earlier, but I kind of had forgotten it was there. We all had a good night, and I happy to spend time with people in my life who I care about and who care about me. After we left, a couple hours later around midnight, my phone buzzed. It was a text from one of the girls I was eating with who I’ll also be living with next year. She knows I struggle with depression and anxiety, but we’ve never talked about it or anything.

Her text said, “hey, i just wanted to say that i saw the band aid on your wrist tonight. i don’t know if it’s something or if it’s nothing, but i just wanted to make sure that you know that i’m always here if ya need anything, no matter what.”

From someone I had never had a real conversation about any of this with, it meant the world. I never know how people are going to respond, but people like this just restore my faith and touch my heart. It reminded me I was seen and that I always have support and someone in my corner even, when my brain tells me otherwise.

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

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via DragonImages

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

Related to Mental Health

Vector illustration Eps10 file. Global colors. Text and Texture in separate layers.

15 Ways to Help Others Struggling With Mental Illness

Sometimes, we can find ourselves fixating on our jobs, our finances, our families, our weight, our significant other (or our lack of a significant other) and what the future has in store for us, generally. It’s very easy to focus on ourselves too much in a world that doesn’t seem to slow down. But when [...]
Couple holding hands while walking at sunset

My Caregiver Needs Care, Too

While there are professional caregivers, family members often provide care and support for those with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. My husband of 35 years is my caregiver. He does a spectacular job — making sure I have my meds, taking me to my appointments, running the errands I have no spoons to do, [...]
family walking

To My Parents Who Support Me Through My Mental Illness Recovery

Mom and Dad, That day I told you I couldn’t get out of bed to even shower, let alone go to class or work, was one of the scariest days of my life. I knew you were going to support me and understand, but as I walked though that door, it was the most emotion [...]
Back view of beautiful naked young woman is using shampoo while taking shower in bathroom

4 Reasons Why Showering Is Hard When You Have a Mental Illness

I believe I have a “high-functioning” mental illness. I’m able to force myself to shower every two to three days. There are a lot of people I know struggling with mental illness who go a week or more without showering. This is something I have found the rest of the world has trouble understanding. One [...]