What not to say to someone who self-injures.
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How to REALLY Help Someone Who Struggles with Self-Harm

Recently, I’ve had a lot of people (therapists, counselors, support group facilitators, parents, etc.) ask me about how to help someone who self-harms.

So, here are some things you should know.

  • Most cutters are highly intelligent and extremely sensitive.
  • Many don’t do it in an effort to end their life, but rather, to end their pain.
  • There are, unfortunately, people and websites that are pro self-harm (this is NOT one of those websites and I am NOT one of those people).
  • Self-mutilation is an addiction, and should be treated as such.

And here are some materials to use. Starting with, the top 5 things to never say to someone who self-injures:

What not to say to someone who self-injures.

Next, 5 things you should say instead:

What to say to someone who self-injures.

Take time to know and understand what the person who is cutting is going through.

And listen.

See this person as whole and send your love and compassion. I promise, he or she will be able to feel it.

If you are the one who is self-mutilating, I made this for you to print out (therapists and support group facilitators you can print these out to use in your sessions):

Self-harm worksheet

It’s okay to ask for help. In fact, please do so. Don’t keep it to yourself. I know you feel like no one understands you, but they never will if you’re not willing to let them. Believe it or not, the people around you are just as scared as you are.

Here’s mine as an example:

Tell me you love me.

Here’s another one for you to print out and use:

Things to do instead of cutting

It’s important to know what to do when you feel the urge to cut. When you’re in that state you’re not always rational so having something physical to have on you or in a place where you can see it will remind you that you have other options available.

Here’s mine (feel free to steal some ideas from it):

My list of things to do instead of cutting.

That’s it for now. I hope this is useful!

As always I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Affirmation for self love
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Not Sorry for Being Me

I’m sitting in the car (the mom van), with the warmth of the sun infusing only the left side of my body. I’ve arrived at my destination, the Cure playing softly in the background, but I am sitting in the parking lot because I need to write a letter.

It is to you, reader of this, it is to peers past and it is to myself so that I can see that the past is history and today is a new day.

I want to say that I’m sorry. I want to say that I am sorry that it has taken me so long to reach this point, this perspective, this understanding of myself.

I want to say that I’m sorry I was so self destructive and I’m sorry that I took you down with me.

(I lower the music so that I can type more authentically, so that the sound of my own thoughts are dominating what I’m creating, so that I AM creating rather than being the destructive force).

I’m sorry that I hurt myself.

I’m sorry if that hurt you.

I’m sorry I didn’t try to understand where you were coming from. I’m sorry that you couldn’t understand where I was coming from.

I’m sorry I didn’t see my own value and I’m sorry I was unable to see the value of our relationship.

I’m sorry that I didn’t know how to say what I wanted to say. I’m sorry I never realized that I was enough. I’m sorry for lying. I’m sorry for cheating. I’m sorry that better choices were seemingly unavailable to me during that time and that you suffered because of it.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t love you completely. I hope you know it’s because I couldn’t love myself. I’m sorry I manipulated. I’m sorry I didn’t ask you your opinion more often.

But, for the first time in my life, I can honestly say, I’m not sorry for being me. You’re brilliant. You’re beautiful. And yeah, so am I. So. Am. I.