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Self-Harm Recovery and Making It Through One Day

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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. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

I did not hurt myself today. I’m not saying I didn’t think about it because my head is often full of violent thoughts and self-destructive fantasies. I’ve come to accept that with my mental disorder comes with certain urges. But the important thing and the reason I am proud is that I did not hurt myself today.

I can imagine someone asking “why was today any different?” Honestly, it wasn’t. I got six hours of sleep, worked a morning shift, had a panic attack, ate three meals and texted my best friend. I didn’t have any unordinary feelings. I occasionally felt hopeless and exhausted, and I occasionally felt elated and motivated. I did lots of things throughout my day to cope with my instability — I screamed, talked, slept and cried — but I did not hurt myself today.

My condition tends to toss my mood into the wind. I live in constant fear I will become an emotional mess as soon as I am thrown into a social situation, ruining all of my relationships. I’m always worried I’ll run into a manic episode when it’s least convenient. My brain will either give up or push through; there is no in-between. There is always a raging battle in my brain. Today, I decided not to participate in the battle and it paid off — I did not hurt myself today.

The day is not over yet. My tools are in plain sight. Yesterday, I would have grabbed them as soon as my brain began to tell me to give up. But today, I learned I am capable of peace and control, even in the midst of my disorder. It’s the days like this that give me hope for the future. Hope is at the start of every path to healing, and I’ve made it a step further because I did not hurt myself today.

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.

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Thinkstock photo via AntonioGuillem

Originally published: June 2, 2017
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