In the shoes of others

The reasons behind self-harm

- I would like people to understand that self-harm is a copping mechanism, it is not attention seeking, it is a way that people can express the feelings that they don't know how else to express. Recovery is 110% possible but it's not really gonna be possible if people take the piss out of you for it. So just be empathetic, just tell people « Hi! », give them a wee cuddle and don't stare at them.

- How does that make you feel when someone doesn't understand and thinks this is attention seeking or that kind of things?

- It feels like they are looking at me and going « You are a very specific kind of person! », which I'm not, and they think that everyone who does it is kind of the same, depressed lonely teenagers listening to like super heavy music... there's a lot more to someone than what they go through, and if you actually have questions about it then don't be scared to just ask rather than assume. Just talk to someone, start up the dialogue, start the conversation, I'm more than happy to talk to people about it as I'm currently doing... just start a conversation and everyone's story is different so don't judge them before you ask.

- Would you mind sharing some of your story, like in your case why...

- I started self-harming when I was 12, I stopped when I was 23. So 11 years, did it for loads and loads of different reasons, it was difficult, it was addicting, I tried to stop loads of times, it's not as easy as just... you know « don't do it ». It was really hard work, and... the reasons as to "why" in people change, the reason I did it when I was 12 was completely different to the reasons I did it at 18 and then at 21, that was all completely different... I was very ashamed of it for a very long time, and I was ashamed of it because of the way people treat it and people like me, and then when I finally went like « Well, fuck your opinion! » it felt a lot easier.
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This is a participation to a social project to promote empathy and fight discrimination.

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