Today is self-harm awareness day. Obviously it is something I take seriously, especially after celebrating four years of being self-harm free back in December.
On awareness days usually it is appropriate to wear a certain color (orange, in this case), or do something that shows support. I think that is all good and well and I love the people who do it. However, my one encouragement is this: Don’t let self-harm awareness be limited to one single day. Use the day to boost the signal but continue to be aware of it throughout the year.
Specifically, be aware of it in your relationships. Sometimes you may know right off the bat that someone is hurting themselves and other times you may never know until they decide to share it with you. The most important thing is to love those around you unconditionally. If they mention something about self-harm, don’t just brush it off. Don’t make fun of it. Don’t joke about cutting or suicide. Take it seriously, because it is a serious issue.
Above all else, be there for people. Be there for your friends. Call them, text them, e-mail them, take them out to coffee. Even if they aren’t a self-harmer, these things never hurt. Be active in how you love people. I think it is the first step to really tackling this self-harm issue.
Self-harm is usually an isolated act committed by people who are upset, lonely, depressed, anxious, or experiencing any series of unpleasant emotions or circumstances. It therefore makes the most sense to combat these conditions with love, companionship, and real conversations.
Go and do and let blessings rain down.
If you’re looking for an organization to support today (or any day) please check out To Write Love on Her Arms.