Recovering From Self Harm

Earlier this week our current group of participants at Epilepsy Futures were lucky to be given the opportunity to engage in a workshop provided by Emma and Erin from Write To Recovery. I was privileged to take part in the session as part of my peer mentoring role for group three.

Write To Recovery is for absolutely anyone who has ever experienced any forms of distress, depression, discrimination, a health condition or a mental health difficulty that’s causing pain and upset in your daily life. It encourages you to share your thoughts, feelings and stories as this can be beneficial in your recovery. After all everyone has a story or two to tell.

This is mine.

In a way I can still see, almost feel and taste my seventeen young old self Living in a venerable, frightened, confused and panic stricken world full of uncertainty and unexpected circumstances from occurring.

I was extremely distressed and disconnected from the world that surrounded me. I felt uncomfortable and unable to express my negative thoughts, feelings and emotions that tormented me every single day which was living in my head.

I can recall when I discovered self harming. It was definitely a release from the extreme fear and anxiety, that I was was enduring, my knifes suddenly became my best friends. Self harming in my opinion is an exceptional and effective method of addressing the issues and only supposed to be a short term solution, unfortunately it is certainly easy to keep slipping into regular patterns of self harm when life becomes too much and unbearable.

Sometimes to harm is a way to remind yourself I am actually still living even though I can’t feel anything.

I can place myself back in that person, know it, feel it and realise the familiarity and yet at the same time it feels so distant, far removed, a moment, memory and time gone by.

I welcome that I can reflect and know that I am not in that place anymore, and I even value the negative nostalgia – for I know I made it through, and I know I have grown stronger, more resilient and more equipped with a toolbox of healthy coping mechanisms through addressing my self-harm.

I began self-harming at the age of seventeen this progressed to a daily ritualistic action. I was regularly injuring myself as a way to externally manifest the pain, hopelessness, guilt and confusion I was feeling inside.

At the time I was also in the depths and darkness of epilepsy always waiting for the next tonic clonic seizure to occur and paralyse me physically and mentally.

Looking at me as a person at present i absolutely love supporting and inspiring individuals with epilepsy and health needs and difficulties. I am proud of myself privileged and honoured to be involved with Epilepsy Connections and to be given the opportunity’s to volunteer with them within a range of there services.

Always remember that you are not alone .

Steven Connelly

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