As we all know, Mental Health Matters, and there are Mental Health Matters that we broadly touch basis on because some of us fear the depths of the topic. If not that, it serves as a trigger to one’s own healing. I’m here to open the conversation. Today, I want to talk about the darker parts. I‘m going to talk more about the severity and subtlety of self harm and suicide. I’m no expert, but I speak from personal experience and years of studying psychology, as well as my own spiritual awakenings+journey.
As of recently, I’ve been reflecting on my own trauma and self harm habits and felt called to bring attention to the public. In past years, I experienced things that weighed heavily on my mental state, from several forms of abuse to abandonment, and more. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I blamed myself for a lot of it, physically expressing how much I disliked myself at the time. I knew I didn’t want to feel so heavy or sad. Depressed, to be forward. I did anything to just feel something other than what I was feeling. It started with just small inflictions of pain, from getting myself into mentally/emotionally painful situations to physically popping a rubber band against my skin to feel. To feel what? Anything. I was even fascinated by how my skin was welted from contact but not enough to leave permanent scars. I slowly began to notice how the welts would go away after some hours, but the feelings that I was avoiding didn’t. They only intensified because now, I have a vice. My logic at the time was: If I feel depressed, I can just snap a rubber band against my wrist and, just for a moment, distract myself from the real pain I was dealing with. Over time, I had hoped things would get better, but they’d only gotten worse, and so did my coping mechanisms. I routed to actually dragging the blade. It started with a pair of scissors. I didn’t see it’s effects immediately; it actually took a minute to FEEL the impact of the scissors, but minutes later there was that burning sensation I was looking for. From scissors, I went to actual blade. I went to the extent of breaking apart a shaving razor, just for the blades and using those. It was way more efficient and at the time I was HERE for it. It was discreet, or so I thought. The scars began to wrack up on my hands, my wrists, my thighs and then I felt worse. Now I have scars on my body that, to this day, are still noticeable (if an outsider were to look hard enough). It was seemingly “just a phase”, until I lost a close friend to their own suicide attempt. It was heart shattering because we had been simultaneously fighting 2 separate battles, yet smiling everyday as if we were alright. This in itself was something that was the catalyst to one of my many spiritual awakenings. My mental health was shot, I hated going to school, and I hated being at home. Essentially, I just hated being alive. I was always crying, ending up in the counselors office for my grades, for my absences, for my behavior. Everything about me was different, I was extremely depressed and did nothing about it but resort to my vices. I wasn’t myself for years at a time until I finally decided I needed help. I needed somebody to help me understand, why I wanted to die so badly. Why was I thinking like this? What can I do to stop this mental madness?!
Many of us, collectively endure so much trauma and are expected to, or take it upon ourselves, to put it in our backpacks of “things to deal with later”. This only leads to us turning against ourselves because we don’t leave room for our emotions to come and go. They come, and we lock them away which is more hurtful than helpful. Eventually, when they’ve had enough of being bottled away, they will begin to fight their way to the surface, metaphorically and literally. It’ll come up as physical expression (physical aggression, self harm, tattoos, etc..), or verbal expression (self degradation, projection, word vomit, etc..) There is a direct correlation between PTSD and higher pain thresholds. Not all of our forms of self expression come from a place of pain but, it does have some type of influence. This is overlooked most times by our own conscious actions, and by the world around us. There are people out here making calls for help, and they go unnoticed because they’re just as subliminal and indirect as asking for advice. Rather than asking for direct shadow guidance toward self, they make it to where it’s indirectly related to them. Example; “What should I do about school? I don’t want to drop out but I can’t handle the workload!”. The issue here isn’t school, it’s overstimulation from different aspects of life, piled on top of school, that draws on their mental health. This is then turned into a domino effect, poor mental health > lack of motivation > failing grades > self degradation … We try to fix the issue at its surface rather than where it ROOTED. Their ability to handle the workload might come directly from their home life and/or traumas that they deal with elsewhere. It then becomes a distraction to their daily tasks, but they keep it in their “backpack”.
This scenario goes to show that our mental health is extremely influenced by the smallest of things. We tend to dismiss the minor details when those are the ones that have the potential to derail you from your path. We have to continue to find healthy and efficient coping, and tangible aid, outside of therapy... awareness is a start but isn’t enough. Therapy is efficient when you need someone to organize your thoughts, to help you put some things into perspective and even provide an outline for you. What’s left after therapy, is self. You have to want to get better, and consciously choose a better path. Outside of your sessions is where most of the internal work is done. It’s up to you, to us as a collective, to take the first step! It’s even brought to my attention that some of us are weary of finding a therapist in fear of rehabilitation. Going to a rehabilitation center is something that many of us, collectively, give a bad rep. We think it’s only for people who need dire help, on the verge of a suicide attempt, or extremely mentally unstable. Same stigma with a therapist. This is overlooked by most because they don’t think “its that deep”. We refuse help because it legitimizes the pain; we’d rather sit in that pain because that’s where our comfort zone is. I strongly enforce being comfortably uncomfortable. Seeking help is a benefit. Yes, this is more a progressional thing. It won’t change over night but one thing that can, is your mindset. Once you adapt to a new mindset, your body will innately follow
Recently, an old friend of mine came to me in my dream with a confession. Just as I was subconsciously trying to figure out my “why?”, they came to me with theirs. In my dream, they requested confidentiality so I will do just that. This person came to me and said, their form of self harm was pills. They would take more than enough of the pills than needed. Not enough to overdose or pass out, but just enough to where it caused physical stomach pains. I specifically remember another energy being there with us as she told me, and they both had agreed that the “why?”, was because “it hurt so good.” The pain was bearable enough to endure for a moment, but not enough to kill them in an overdose.
I now, at 20 years old, wonder and ask others, as well as myself, what we get out of doing this? What does the physical expression do for us? What is our purpose in this means of passive aggressive “coping”? There are people in this world, who go the extra mile to actually take their lives. A vice isn’t enough for them. I think it can be collectively agreed on, that we just want to be heard... to be seen. Even with those dark and eerie parts that we hope nobody finds. We all, deep deep down, want someone to take away that festering trauma. We want to find a means of coping that’s effective, so we can actually heal from it. Drugs, Alcohol, Exercise, Journaling, Venting, Therapy, these are all coping mechanisms we use. The efficiency of them is what matters. Those with suicidal thoughts, or have made suicide attempts, have likely made it clear that they needed someone. And if they didn’t, it just goes to show how SUBTLY our mental health influences our day to day lives. To the point that we can be on the brink of our last moments, but we keep it inside just up until we’re about ready to explode, implode even, if you don’t get it out.
I am opening the conversation to really understanding mental health and what that actually means. When we say we need help, what kind of help do we need? Is a psychiatrist’s expertise going to guide you toward a tangible solution? When we say we’re seeking help, do you want someone to physically aid you or provide guidance toward an internal path? I’m opening the conversation to anyone who wants their story to be heard, to EVERYONE who had questions, and to those who want to leave comments about what Mental Health means to them. This is an open conversation to anyone who wants to speak on this. You can comment here, leave an anonymous submission on our “SUPPORT” tab or DM me on instagram @teyeshai! We need to come together to heal what we’ve stored away for so long. We collectively can support one another and be the change we wish to see.