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34 Texts to Read When You Want to Self-Harm

The most helpful emails in health
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Editor's Note

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

I’ve struggled with self-harm since I was 13 years old. I’m 22 now. It’s been almost a decade of battling that voice in my head that tells me to hurt myself. Almost a decade of battling my own hands, fighting to keep them from the hurt they want to inflict. But after almost a decade of being completely addicted to self-harm, I was finally able to stop. It’s been a year and a few months since I last cut. I’ve hurt myself in other ways, but being able to stop cutting was a major milestone for me. 

However, today I came closer to relapsing than ever before. Some might even say I did, if you want to argue semantics. But either way, it’s been hard lately. The world is a mess, the holidays sent me spiraling and work has broken me more than I thought possible. I’m fighting every day to just stay alive. Suffice to say, the urges to engage in self-harm have been strong.

But, as always, I remain incredibly thankful for the people in my life who continue to fight alongside me. From those who supported me at 13 to the ones who still support me at 22, I’m thankful for every text, every message, every person who stayed up late to make sure I was OK. Every person who picked me back up, relapse after relapse. And every person who celebrated with me when I finally stopped. I carry those messages close to me. I read them, and reread them, over and over some nights until the urge passes. I’ve been reading them more than ever lately. 

Thank you to the people who sent these. And I promise these words and reminders are as true for you as they are for me. Take what you need:

When I just need someone to tell me not to hurt myself, or remind me I don’t need to:

“Babe you are already hurt, please don’t hurt yourself more.”

“Don’t use them. Be strong for me and for you.”

“You know that you don’t need to do that to feel something.”

“You know you don’t need it. You know that you’re stronger than that.”

“You don’t need to hurt to feel better. That’s not how it works.”

“You’re already hurt. More hurt isn’t the answer as much as it feels like everything your mind and body wants.”

“Do not do it, you are stronger and you are worthy. I love you so much and I’m here for you.”

“You don’t need that pain and release, that’s not truth.”

“You’ve come so far and gone so long without doing this and you don’t have to do it now.”

“It’s not inevitable. Freedom is inevitable. Grace is inevitable. But hurting yourself is not.”

“You have a lot of pain but cutting is only a temporary facade that won’t make it go away.”

When people remind me I have the power in myself to not do this:

“You know deep inside you’re capable of being strong and putting them down.”

“I know you have the love for yourself in you that you need.”

“You know that you are strong and that you can get through this. I know it sucks when you have to keep reminding yourself that, but it is true.”

 “There’s pride bursting in my heart knowing that you’re fighting the lies and looking for truth.”

“You have the power in you to say no. You can do this, I know you can.”

“You know you can get through this.”

When I need a reminder that people care and are here for me:

“Please reach out. Anytime you need it. You’re not alone. Ever. You’re brave. You’re worthy. You’re winning.”

“Your support network of people who love and care for you stretches farther than you could imagine.”

“I will always be just a text or a phone call away. I am so proud of you and the way you fight to be here each and every day.”

“If you need anything at all or if you want company or whatever just let me know and you know I’ll be there.”

“I’ll always be there for you no matter what. I’ll always be here to try to bring you out of your head in any way I can.”

“Wake up, breathe deep and say it’s going to be OK. I still believe that for you even if you don’t my love.”

“Hey just checking in, you OK?”

“Hey, just wanted to check in. Always around to talk if you need to.”

When I need to know I’m not alone or too far gone:

“You are strong, and you are loved, and you are not alone.”

“You are precious and important and loved, and you are absolutely not alone.”

“You’re not too far gone, you’ll never be too far gone. I know the pain is real, but don’t let it get the best of you.”

When people truly see me and empathize:

“I’m so sorry this hurt so much. If you need someone to help get rid of the tools let me know. I’m glad you’re here, I’m glad you reach out, I love you.”

“I hear you babe. I hear the hopelessness and the despair and all the pain and hurt. I wish I could take it all away. Praying the truth shouts greater right now.”

“You’re worth more than the drinking and cutting, and I’m sorry that it hurts so bad that it feels like those are the only ways. But I promise they aren’t.”

 “I’ve seen with my own eyes how hard you have been fighting for years and how strong you are. I am so so proud of you.”

When I just need some tough love:

“Whatever tools you have, you need to get rid of.”

When I’m panicking:

“OK, breathe. It’s OK. Just take a second and breathe, the only way to get on the other side of this is to go through it.”

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Originally published: June 14, 2021
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