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I am separate from my story: how I stopped self-harming

Once upon a time, I was not so able to cope.

I used to believe terrible things about myself.

I wasn't even aware I had bad thoughts about myself.

I just felt bad - angry - SO angry and there was nothing I felt I could do… So I took it out on myself.

It was anger turned inwards.

The rage came from a place of self-blame... Blaming myself for the terrifying trauma of abuse.

When I perceived things as going wrong and other's words/actions as confirming my internal belief that I was "bad" I went on a downward spiral, thinking things like

"I am a burden and a waste of space"

"I don't matter"

"I don't belong/fit in"

"I'm unlovable/unwanted/not good enough".

I remember one of the most intense triggers I had.

It was literally one of those moments when you are in a heap of the bathroom floor feeling utterly awful and alone. It's difficult to explain and even more difficult to understand if you haven't been there.

I rang lifeline in an effort to do the right thing because I thought " I shouldn't be feeling like this" and I came off the call feeling worse.

Instead of feeling validated for my anger I felt like I was being judged. The person on the other end of the call clearly wasn't trained in abuse and didn't know how to help. At that point I wouldn't have been able to help them help me because I didn't have the awareness then that I have now.

If you know exactly what I mean, know you are so not alone and this is part of the journey… It's not a good feeling but you get better at coping with it the more you increase your awareness.

To do that, you have to be willing to really look at yourself and see what's there. It's often painful, but it doesn't last. I promise it is worth it and actually feels good once you get past the initial shock of "wow how much pain is in here?!"

It is equally important and greatly effective to accept yourself. That means no judging, no expectations or criticism or comparing or pushing, because all that stuff right there defeats the purpose of what we're doing.

The thing is, bad thoughts about ourselves are not the ultimate truth about ourselves.

Keep this in your mind whatever you do...

Our PAIN is NOT us.

Our STORY is NOT who we are.

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