Today is Self Injury Awareness Day and also my littlest sister’s 15th Birthday!!!! You can’t go wrong with a Friday birthday
To celebrate Self Injury Awareness Day you can wear an orange ribbon (or just wear orange), write love on your skin and/or draw butterflies as a part of the Butterfly Project!
Unfortunately I still find self harm to be difficult to talk about so I usually do not participate in these awareness days. I hate this fact but hopefully that changes by the time the next awareness day rolls around.
I am what I guess you could call a veteran self harmer, having been self harming for the past 10 and a bit years. What can I say to those who have recently started self harming? Please go get help. I understand what self harming is doing for you but you need to find that same feeling in something else. It is totally possible because I more often than not use my other coping skills. Catch this while it’s early so you can focus your efforts somewhere else. If people are being mean to you about your self harming, I am sorry, I know that hurts and doesn’t help at all. Please know that there are many of us out there that understand why you self harm which is why we would like you to try to stop. You may not be able to do it on your own and that’s fine! Go to a parent, a friend, a teacher, a religious leader, a counsellor, anyone you trust and allow them to help you. do not do anything you are not comfortable with but do not let discomfort discourage you. Self harm can be difficult to stop but it will be worth it in the end.
To my veteran self harmers: WE ARE STILL HERE! 5, 10, 20 etc years have passed and we may be still struggling but still surviving. We have a lot to teach the world about self harm and I hope many of you can share your experiences. We also need to stop this behaviour although we are all aware how it is now ingrained in our minds, an addiction if you will. It is possible to overcome this addiction and stop hurting ourselves, adding to the hundreds, maybe thousands of scars that already cover our bodies. We are beautiful people who deserve to be loved, not just by others but by ourselves. With support from others we can overcome self harm and we can find other way to cope that are just as effective. It will take time and effort but it will be worth it in the end!
To everyone who self harms: Please practice harm reduction! Harm reduction ensures that you are limiting the amount of harm you are doing to yourself while still engaging in the behaviour. Harm reduction teaches you to care about yourself, keeps you safe and allows you to gradually stop the behaviour on your own terms. How I engaged in harm reduction was by washing my tools before and after use, cleaning my wounds with soap and water, using an antibacterial cream (ie: polysporin) to kill bacteria and speed healing and using scar reducing creams/oils (ie: bio oil) to make my scars less noticeable.
Please always be safe, know there are many out there who are experiencing self harm as well and know that YOU CAN STOP!
Yesterday was Bell Lets Talk Day.
Bell is one of Canada’s largest media companies owning home phone, cell phone, internet, television stations and television connection. Bell is everywhere.
Three years ago, Bell decided to take on mental health and started Bell Lets Talk to raise awareness and money for mental health initiatives across Canada.
I am not a fan of Bell Lets Talk because I feel that although it means well it is still a campaign that pushes the dominant ideology that still produces stigma and discrimination but since I want money to go into mental health and because what I have to say is important I tweeted up a storm!
I guess in honour of
#BellLetsTalk I can say what’s been bothering me for two weeks. I feel like I’m not allowed to fall apart. I’m tired.
I raised a total of: 85 cents
All my hard work and effort only raised 85 cents (I excluded an information tweet on Bell Lets Talk and I also shared the Facebook picture).
Of course, this is why it’s all across Canada because at 5 cents a tweet, text, LD call and FB picture share 1 person cannot make a helpful dent in terms of raising money.
The last count available (we’re still waiting for the final total) was:
That amounts to $3 million (I rounded up)!
When I have the final numbers I’ll post again!
DO NOT STOP TALKING THOUGH! Bell Lets Talk may be over but mental health discrimination is not! Keep the conversation going all year because that’s how long I have my problems! All damn year! So, don’t be silent!
My friend posted this on her Facebook wall. It’s a beautiful, harsh look at addiction in the Hunts Point neighbourhood in New York.
“The stories of addicts in the Hunts Point neighborhood, the poorest in all of New York City. I post people’s stories as they tell them to me.
What I am hoping to do, by allowing my subjects to share their dreams and burdens with the viewer and by photographing them with respect, is to show that everyone, regardless of their station in life, is as valid as anyone else.
Its easy to ignore others. By not looking, by not talking to them, we can fall into constructing our own narrative that affirms our limited world view.
Much of this series has been done in conjunction with the writer Cassie Rodenberg. You can find her writings here: White Noise“
We are now kicking off Blog for Mental Health 2013! WOOT!!!!
Ruby Tuesday has pledged me (does that make sense?) and I accept! I’ll let her explain what this is all about!
“Now, to be absolutely clear, this isn’t an award. I want to make that very plain, because I know that many bloggers feel that the blogging awards passed along, however well-intentioned, sometimes have a bit of a “chain mail” feel to them. I would love to see even “award-free” bloggers taking up this gauntlet, because it is something else entirely. It’s a simple, yet very powerful way for a community of mental health bloggers to show that they are proud of their lives, that they are writing for themselves as well as for those who have not yet found their voices, that they are ensuring no one ever has to feel alone when dealing with mental illness.“
Here is how this thing works:
1.) Take the pledge by copying and pasting the following into a post featuring “Blog for Mental Health 2013″.
I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.
2.) Link back to the person who pledged you.
3.) Write a short biography of your mental health, and what this means to you.
I was always a sensitive child. Maybe that put me at a higher risk for developing mental health issues but regardless it all really started going downhill when I was 12 when I first thoughts of suicide. I began actively self harming at age 13 and wasn’t diagnosed with chronic depression until I was 16 and put on meds. The meds didn’t agree with me and I attempted suicide 6 months later. After ending medication and finishing up with therapy I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD at 18. I reentered therapy after a few years to get better control over what was happening with me. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Traits and take an antipsychotic for the times I feel stressed or need to shut my mind off to sleep.
I am proud of surviving what was so far the worst part of my life. I do everything I can to help others in the way I wished I had been helped. I do not think I am sick but that I am who I am, someone with a different brain that has been shaped by experiences.
4.) Pledge five others, and be sure to let them know!
I am pledging five of my fellow bloggers who have impressed me with their strength and amazing honesty in sharing their experiences of mental health issues.
You can still take the pledge regardless of if you appear on my brief list
5.) And, as something novel for 2013, Lulu and I ask one more thing of you.
As you may have noticed, Canvas does not keep an official blogroll, outside of links to our authors’ personal blogs. For something new and special to introduce Blog For Mental Health 2013, and really build a sense of community — and show everyone how many of us there are, and how strong we are, coming together — we are launching a Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll! So, in addition to linking back to the person who pledged you, please include the link to the original post in your piece. As this gets passed along, link back or click here and leave a comment containing the link to your pledge, and we will put you on our Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll page! Show the world our strength, show them our solidarity, show them what we are made of. Take the Blog for Mental Health pledge and proudly display the badge on your blog!
“The group, FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, created a fake website called Pink Loves Consent. It’s named after the Victoria’s Secret line Pink, which is marketed to young women. Many people were tricked into thinking the company was taking on this campaign, but pretty soon the internets figured out the hoax.”
I really do want these panties though! I think it is an amazing idea and one that would make a lot of money! It would be a great way to raise awareness on sexual assault and proceeds could go to women’s organizations!
On a national scale, an estimated 71,300 Canadians are living with HIV, and an estimated 3,175 new HIV infections occurred in 2011.
See: No Harm is Possible
I got my black ribbon tied around my wrist for self harm awareness!
It occurred to me not to long ago that I have been struggling with self harm (fuck struggling, it was kicking my ass) for as long as some of the kids I work with have been alive. My 10 year olds are a visual reminder of the time that has past.
I’m angry that I ever cut in the first place but how was I to know it would turn into an addiction and a massive battle. It could have turned out differently but it didn’t.
I find myself becoming angry (just a tad) when I hear young people tweet (ugh social media language) that they have been self harming for a year or a couple years and that recovery is possible. I just think, “Fuck, I wish I was you.” and “Fuck, you have no clue.” Both of which are wrong to think because I don’t wish I was anyone else and length of time shouldn’t dictate validity of experience. Still, I think it and I get angry.
So, where in all this self pity is my awareness about self harm and that we should stay strong? I guess it’s found in the fact that despite the war I waged on myself since I was 13 years old I have stopped. December 21 2012 will be 7 months self harm free.
People are always asking me how I manged to quit and it’s a simple answer: Because I wanted to. My struggles have left me with a strong desire to go for what I want no matter how difficult or how painful. If I want it then I get it.
I think I will always be conflicted about my experience with self harm. It is the one thing that I regret in my life but I am the person I am now because of that experience. I guess that doesn’t mean I have to embrace the experience. I prefer to not think about it really.
Congratulations Brett on doing an amazing job in spreading awareness on mental health! Thank you for putting yourself out there so people can learn! Keep up the great work!