Scars.

Published by knightofsteel on

Today I am going to talk about something I have not talked about directly in the past. I have hinted at it, made some references or written one or two lines about it. In the 4 months since I first talked about my depression publically, I have had many people reach out to me talking about their experiences, their struggles and how bad it got. A lot of people, I have noticed have also been talking about how much they have harmed themselves when struggling with their thoughts.

Self harm is a difficult topic to talk or write about. It is hard to write in words what goes on in the mind of a person who harms him/herself. It is hard to not make the victim seem crazy while not promoting or glorifying self harm itself. I am going to try my best at describing what it is like what goes in our minds to the general public and to anyone reading this, I will also give you some tips on how to avoid harming yourself in case you cannot control it by yourself. So I will begin with some individual anecdotes, move on to the perception of it by the normal people and then talk about what (If any) is the appropriate response when you see something like this on the body of someone. I will end with some tips on how to avoid harming yourself and replacing it with other stuff.

People mutilate themselves for many reasons, some to relieve emotional pain, to feel something, to tackle the numbness within themselves or as a punishment for themselves out of guilt. Self mutilation is basically defined as breaking the skin resulting in bleeding which can be done by a knife/blade/ glass.  When people have talked to me about their personal experiences with self harm, the most common reason I have heard for doing so is to relieve the emotional pain because they couldn’t see any other way out. The sight of blood oozing out of their skin makes them feel relieved which could be caused by the endorphins released in our brains whenever we cut ourselves. The cuts are generally superficial although the degree of depth may vary in different people depending on the state of mind the victim was in while doing it. I have had experience with self harm myself. Over the last 15-18 months, I have had a lot of experience with self mutilation. I used various different means at times and some marks were so deep that they can still be seen on various parts of my body. Most of the scars faded away, leaving just a slight tan against the rest of the skin which will eventually fill up, a few were deep enough to leave a permanent scar and they are all over my body, my abdomen, my forearms and my shoulders.Here you can see some of them. These are going to stay with me now, so I might as well learn to be comfortable with them.

*GRAPHIC CONTENT*

2017-06-09-01-19-52 I wouldn’t exactly say I am embarrassed of these scars, I was in a really bad state of mind when I got them and they do serve up as a constant reminder to me on how bad things could have gotten and how much better I am now. They also serve as a reminder to not make the same errors I made previously and be better at managing and controlling my own thoughts.

When people see someone else with scars on their arms, or any other body part, there are a lot of things that instantly pop up in their head. This is something that is totally natural and should be expected from anyone seeing it for the first time. There are some misconceptions I would like to clear up at this point. People who self harm are likely to be suffering from a mental disorder, like depression or anxiety or BPD but calling them “crazy” or “dangerous” is not helpful to anyone involved. If you are scared of triggering the person by saying something wrong, keep the words limited. Choose your words carefully and be careful with how you say them. Prioritize face to face interactions over messaging or voice call as you can’t really see or perceive a person’s emotions with these methods. If you can, try and be available to these people even though they don’t really talk back to you. Let them know you are there, and constantly keep reminding them of the same.

To anyone who does harm themselves at regular intervals, this paragraph is for you. Cutting yourself does seem like a good option as it relieves us of the pain and then at most times doesn’t leave many permanent marks so why not just cut yourself? There are many reasons why the relief provided by cutting does not lead to any good. The relief that you feel is temporary and the pain will come back no matter what, in a short while. Moreover the secret of self harm is something that makes us more isolated and detached from society. We are constantly afraid of contacting someone, for they may judge us and people are constantly afraid of talking to you in case something they say hurts us and we become even more detached. The relief you feel is because of the endorphins released in your brain which develop a resistance over time. So the more you cut yourself, more you will have to cut the next time to feel relieved, this could lead to serious injuries even if you don’t  want them.

Now coming to the coping techniques for self harm, there are various ways to seek help, or to be helpful to yourself.

  • Confide in someone. Pick a person you believe is compassionate and caring enough to listen to your problems and help you through them. Tell them about your feelings but also be careful to be patient with them. They may not understand on the first go or may panic, it is up to you to give them some time to process this stuff and come up with a response.
  • Contact a hotline service or seek therapy. There are many help lines all over the world to deal with these issues. Call one and talk to a stranger without any fear of judgment.
  • Pick up a pen and draw something on yourself instead of using a blade or glass. It does help and this is something I drew on my left arm a few days ago. It is basically a distraction and any or all distractions are helpful in this case.20170609_140748
  • Write down a journal or diary, video or audio journals work just fine as well. Document your thought process at these times and device new ways to tackle your problems when they return at a later time

Self harm is not something that is ideal, but it doesn’t mean people who do this need to be shunned from the society as a whole. We can make things better, we just have to maintain hope and be available to help anyone, whenever and wherever it is.

If you reside in India, here are the various help lines you can contact when you feel like you need some help

Befrienders India – National Association 
c/o Sneha, 11 Park View Road
R.A.Puram
600 028
Chennai
Website: befriendersindia.org

Centres

Lifeline Foundation 
17/1A Alipore Road
Sarat Bose Road
700 027
KOLKATA
Hotline: +91 33 2474 4704
Hotline: +91 33 2474 5886
Hotline: 2474 5255
Website: education.vsnl.com/n4h/

AASRA 
A-4, Tanwar View, CHS,
Plot NO – 43, Sector 7
Koparkhairane
400 701
NAVI MUMBAI
Contact by: Face to Face  – Phone  – Letter:
Hotline: +91 22 2754 6669
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun: 09:00 – 21:00

MAITREYI 
255 Thyagumudali Street
605001
PONDICHERRY
Contact by: Face to Face  – Phone  – Letter:
Hotline: +91-413-339999
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun: 14:00 – 20:00

ROSHNI 
1-8-303/48/21 Kalavathy Nivas,
Sindhi Colony
S.P. Road
500003 A.P.
SECUNDERABAD
Contact by: Face to Face  – Phone  – Letter:
Hotline: +91 40 7904646
E-mail Helpline: help@roshnihyd.org
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 11:00 – 21:00

Saath 
B12 Nilamber Complex
H.L. Commerce College Road
Navrangpura
380 006
AHMEDABAD
Hotline: +91 79 2630 5544
Hotline: +91 79 2630 0222

SNEHA 
11 Park View Road
(Near Chennai Kaliappa Hospital)
R.A. Puram
600 028
Chennai
Contact by: Face to Face  – Phone  – Letter:
Hotline: +91 (0) 44 2464 0050
Website: snehaindia.org
E-mail Helpline: help@snehaindia.org
24 Hour service:

The Samaritans Sahara 
Sir J-J. Road
Byculla Bridge
400 008
MUMBAI
Contact by: Face to Face  – Phone  – Letter:  – E-mail:
Hotline: +91-22-2307 3451
Website: mumbainet.com/health/samarita.htm
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri: 15:00 – 21:00
 Sat, Sun: 10:00 – 21:00

Sumaitri 
1 Bhagwandas Lane
Aradhana Hostel Complex
Basement
110 001
NEW DELHI
Contact by: Face to Face  – Phone  – Letter:
Hotline: 2338 9090
Website: sumaitri.org
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri: 14:00 – 22:00
 Sat, Sun: 10:00 – 22:00

MAITHRI – Cochin 
Ashirbhavan Road
Kacheripady
Ernakulam Kochi
682 018
Kochi
KERALA
Contact by: Face to Face  – Phone  – Letter:
Hotline: +91 239 6272
Website: maithrikochi.org
E-mail Helpline: maithrikochi@yahoo.co.in
Hours:
 Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun: 10:00 – 20:00

 

 


11 Comments

alubhujiablog · September 11, 2017 at 11:44 AM

O MY GOD , u selfharmed yourself ? hope things r fine now

    knightofsteel · September 11, 2017 at 11:45 AM

    Things are better now yes. The scars haven’t left though, they may stay with me for life. Thank you for the concern😊

opinionatedmua · October 4, 2017 at 9:22 AM

Dear fellow blogger, you are soo soo brave to have written this. Am sure you are helping many in understanding themselves or a loved one going through it. You sure are a man of steel, soo proud of you for getting better. Am there too! A stranger but sure a human being know 🙂

    knightofsteel · October 4, 2017 at 9:39 AM

    Thank you so much! I am trying to reach as many people as possible but I don’t think I’m having much impact right now. Hope to improve it further in the future.

Akshata Ram · October 4, 2017 at 11:30 AM

I really wanna hug you for this- I wouldn’t know how to deal with this. Someone very close tried to cut themselves front of me and I just got cold feet. This is going to help so many. Kudos! Hugs! I have to share this

    knightofsteel · October 4, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    A virtual hug is always welcome 😊. Many people need to read this in order for it to have a meaningful impact.

Keerthi Vydyula · October 4, 2017 at 11:48 AM

You have put it in right words! Self harm is not going to reduce our hurt or pain permanently. I guess when one gets such extreme thoughts it is always suggestible to talk to someone close to them or someone they can confide in. It really helps. Its quite inspiring that u have bravely written about your experience by not fearing of any judgement which clearly shows that you have “Risen” like the text u wrote on ur arm indicating superman! You know u have gained a new friend in me, though i expressed it earlier i wanna repeat it again, never ever assume u are alone u have ur friends and family to constantly support and up lift you. It was very brave of you to write about your experiences. Keep the spirits high as usual 🙂 Hugs!

    knightofsteel · October 4, 2017 at 11:50 AM

    Thank you!😊 There was a time where I didn’t consider myself a friend so anyone else was a long shot. Things are slowly changing now and I feel I can trust some people again. Again, thank you for your support.

      Keerthi Vydyula · October 4, 2017 at 12:13 PM

      I am always around! Stay strong my friend (I know you do but it just my concern about a fellow frnd and blogging mate) 😀

      knightofsteel · October 4, 2017 at 12:14 PM

      I surely will. Thank you☺️

Lavanya · October 4, 2017 at 11:13 PM

That was an extremely brave write. Hope you are fine now

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