1. It isn’t going to be easy. Recovering from anything isn’t. Like an alcoholic craving one more drop of liquid gold, we will crave the rush from our addiction again to. We will feel we have recovered, finally free, but relapses sneak in like that. If one knocks on your door, don’t feel the weight of failure consuming you. Instead ask her why she’s here, get to know who invited her. Being curious brings awareness and through awareness you can prevent future visits.
2. We will try multiple things before finding what works. I’m sorry but it is highly unlikely the first thing we try will be a success. And there may not be one single thing. Don’t give up if you take time to work it out.
3. It will be uncomfortable. I wish I could lie and say it is as simple as just stopping. But it isn’t. Nothing is. Like that afternoon chocolate craving that rises daily, self harm is a hard addiction to curb. It will bring up emotions, feelings and thoughts you silenced for so long. But know, you can’t suppress this forever.
4. We may outgrow people, or situations. It’s life. Who we spend time with now may not be the same in five years. And a change of season in life can expedite this process. We may no longer connect with the same people. And that’s okay.
5. Medication isn’t the answer. We don’t need a pill to ‘fix’ us. We aren’t broken. Please, please don’t look for an external fix for an internal battle.
6. Be patient. We all likely didn’t develop your relationship with self harm over night, so don’t expect her to leave the morning after. It will take time. It will be hard. Be patient.
7. Other demons may surface. We used self harm to suppress something we didn’t want to feel or face. So when you evict her from your life, new demons will likely apply to take her place. You may find you feel worse before you feel better. Know that you can overcome this too.
8. Don’t replace one addiction with another. But please don’t replace self harm with one of her family members. Her sister, smoking, may seem like a good idea but she just brings her own baggage we will need to untangle later.
9. It is worth the effort. You are probably reading this and wanting to quit already, but know- it is worth the effort. Those nights we feel completely worthless and alone? Those days we swear you can’t go on? They are a spec in the span of our life. They are behind us and by overcoming them now; you have your life ahead to create the world you wish. Overcoming something as difficult as this, builds strength in us we will carry on in life. So please know, it is worth it.
10. We will be okay. Regardless of how many times we may fall; how many relapses may surface; how uncomfortable we may feel- we will be okay. There is nothing that is too much for us, I promise you that. Emotions pass. And this will to.