Mental Health

Self harm is not for attention.

Many people self harm due to a plethora of reasons. Self harm has always been a controversial topic. As a child I never heard of self harm but due to living in an abusive household I wanted to cut myself to get a release. I needed a release and this was the only way I could think of.

My chest would burn, my ears would ring, my skin would crawl and my fingers would inch towards an object that would release the excruciating pain inside of me. Fortunately I could stop and distract myself from doing something self destructive.

Sadly that’s not the case for others. The pain can be too much for people and they self harm to release the pain they feel inside. It becomes an addiction, A way to soothe the pain… momentarily.

Self injury is NOT for attention

So many people don’t understand why people cut themselves, punch walls, punch and hit themselves, etc. People see it as a form of attention seeking. Let me tell you that YOU ARE WRONG.

If it was for attention why would self harmers wear long sleeve t-shirts to hide the cuts on their arms. Why do they cover up their skin so no one can see it, even if the sun is splitting the trees. Why don’t they shout about it to the world that they self harm or show everyone they meet their scars. How are they attention seeking if they hide it?!

self harm

I repeat self harm is NOT for attention.

Have you seen the look of shame on a person’s face when you catch a glimpse of their scars? I have.  Self harmers should never be ashamed for having a weak moment during a long, hard, exhausting war against themselves.

A war is raging inside the person. A war you can’t see looking at them unless you have your own war raging inside of yourself. A person may be smiling, laughing and looking happy but trust me that war is raging on the inside. A war you may never even see or hear of because they keep it to themselves.

I have been given the opportunity to post a poem written by a friend of mine to help people to understand self harm better.

Let’s give it a read.

As a child
They say
“You were so happy”
she doesn’t remember
But she does remember
The first time
She tried it
First came burning,
This didn’t last
Overwhelming attention
That was not her aim
Then, one day
She bought
Razor blades

The blades became
Her best friend
Always there for her
In her time of need
Her skin
A canvas
That not many understand
A morbid art
She would draw
Line after bloody line
With her poison pen

The strokes
Made her feel
Made her care
For her art was not to be
It was private
Between her brain and heart
She stands and watches
Her ink drip
Deepest, darkest red
You’ve ever seen
Beautiful, in a sense

The pain
Surging through her
She smiles and lets Out a deep breath
She has a moment of
Suddenly, the world
Doesn’t feel so heavy
On her shoulders
As she watches, The drips
She thinks
“This is what it must feel like
If your normal”

The time comes
Her biggest challenge of all
She now has to take care
Of her art
For she would never go to
And take up spaces that others
Who are so much more important
Than her
She would never want to
A nurses time

This continues
On a regular basis
You see, this is an
Like any other, yet
This one, has so much more
Attention seeking, no no no
For this is not what she desires
All she wants, is the voices to stop
The feelings to calm
So she can think
And breathe
But with any addiction
You always need more
But in this case
She needed
To draw deeper

A time came
Where her art was no longer pretty
It was deep and dark
Too much for anyone
To see
Even she, the creater
Couldn’t bare to look
Trying to get clean
She tried and tried
But would always
Fall back down

Her thoughts
So dark
Not even a sprinkle
Of light
Of hope
For there was no getting out now
Her skin
Her so-called canvas
So damaged
She stands, distraught
Drawing still
But the deepness
The red is no longer red
Almost black

She watches as the
Drips match her tears
Falling heavy and fast
Her thoughts
“See, that’s better isn’t it”
Her heart
In disbelief
“Look at what you are doing”

Another voice speaks up
Reassuring and kind
“It’ll be better after you’ve cleaned
She’s numb
She’s no longer listening
Or caring
Because she is nothing
To no one
“What’s the point?”
She whispers to herself
All the voices answer her
“There is no point
You are nothing”
She nods in agreement
And draws some more

Summer comes by
She’s wearing long sleeves
And jeans
People moan and laugh
“Aren’t you hot?”
“You know it’s summer, right?”
“You should take that hoodie off”
She shrugs
“I’m okay”
She says, hoping it’s
They look at her like she’s a
She’s melting on the inside
Almost fainting
But thats okay
She deserves this
She did this to

She no longer looks in the
Of what the voices
Will say
She can’t make eye contact
With herself
Let alone, anyone else
She’s drawing daily
To cope
She’s suicidal
But you cannot tell
For she’s fine
Like she says
All the time

She dreams of
For it’s called
Rest in Peace
Peace from her head
She will be able to
And stop all the
From inside her
No more voices
No more life
She’s knows that’s not
But she doesn’t talk about it
As she doesn’t want to
Others perfect little

She knows she’s alone
For people can only take so
She has accepted the darkness
And is scared of the light
The voices are her
Or so she thinks
She can no longer tell
The difference
They all sound the same

As a child
She was happy
She did not ask for this
Nor is she proud or
Attention seeking
She is who she is
For she is

Such a raw and an emotional piece. As you can see it does become an addiction and not attention seeking. Next time you become aware of someone self harming please don’t just assume they want attention. Help is what they need. Give it to them! Read my post on what it’s like to live with depression and suicidal thoughts HERE!

Anne xx

self harm

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6 thoughts on “Self harm is not for attention.

  1. That poem really resonated with me. I’ve been there, and thought those things, and some of these things I never even realised was a part of the self-harming process for myself, let alone other people. I thought those thoughts were just all mine. Great post, and amazing poem – so insightful on what it is actually like to go through it all.

    Beka |

  2. I’ve been a self-harmer for most of my adult life, but I didn’t start cutting until my late twenties. And I think, at that point, it was for attention – I needed help and I didn’t know how to ask for it or where to turn.

    It’s so hard to get any kind of mental health care in the United States if you don’t have health insurance or the money to see a therapist. I think I wanted my self-harm to be blatantly visible to so someone would reach out to me and help me find the services I needed .

    “Seeking attention” gets such a bad rep these days and there’s nothing wrong with needing validation or attention from others, especially if we’re hurting, right?

  3. It is so important that people understand that self-harm is not for attention. My brother self-harmed and it was definitely not because he wanted attention. Thank you for posting this.

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