…But you don’t look ill, you look fine to me!!
(self-harm trigger warning)
“But you don’t look like someone with a mental illness.”
“Gosh, I didn’t know you were Bipolar”
“What have you got to be depressed for, your life is great!”
“Oh sh*t, sorry. I forgot my pink neon mental illness sign at home today, I will make sure to wear it tomorrow!”–(a little bit of sarcasm to lighten the mood up).
Why is it that to be taken seriously, to be listened to, people think that you need to look ill? Sometimes mental illnesses can show physically, of course, like the appearance of somebody struggling with eating disorders or scars made through self-harm. But so much of the time there is nothing physically wrong to see, and you would never know!
“Oh, I scratched it whilst gardening at the weekend!”
I have had my fair share of stares, and looks of horror, fear and disgust. The thing about my self-harm though, is it’s not punishment, I don’t feel the need to punish myself. For me, it’s a form of release. When you are in such a dark place and you feel numb, to inflict pain is a way of feeling alive and feeling SOMETHING! It does become highly addictive, once you start it is very hard to stop. It will be 9 months this week since I last self-harmed, the thought of it creeps up on me every time I have a slip, but I find distraction straight away and try to fight the urge to inflict physical pain on myself, but all of my scars from over the years are still there… still visible… So, to have them pointed out to me, is yet another reminder of the struggle I have to live with every day!