Dos and donts of self harm

1 Don’t ask me why. If I want you to know why, I will tell you. Most of the time I don’t even know why.
2 Sometimes I just need to tell someone, because I fucking need to.
3 Never talk about me behind my back. I will find out and I will be pissed. I prefer you to speak directly to me.
4 If you ask me to never self-harm again, and I say “okay”, I’m lying.
5 Never ask me to never self-harm again.
6 Don’t try and understand why I do it. You’re wasting your time.
7 If you don’t know what to do, just ask me “Are you [insert appropriate form of harm here]? Do you need to talk about it?”
8 Get over your own insecurities about worrying if I’ll hate you for asking.
9 Asking shows concern. Not asking shows negligence and an “I really couldn’t care less” attitude.
10. Telling a teacher/parent/counsellor/other friend before talking to the person in question shows “I can’t be fucked working up the courage to ask you myself”. But it’s better than #9
11. Offering suggestions of other means of coping is pointless.
12. Tell me that you’re there for me. No matter what. And you never judge. And you will always listen. And you will always just be there. And sometimes you never have to say a word at all. Sometimes I don’t want you to say anything.
13. It does not mean I love or enjoy pain.
14. It gives me the right to make fun of myself/other self harmers.
15. Depending on the situation, it does not give you the right to.
16. Classifying me as “emo” only reduces yourself to an ill-informed bitch who believes you’re God’s gift.
17. It is not always a case of attention-seeking. A lot of the time it isn’t.
18. Self harm is a way of coping with emotions. While most people might cry and scream and rant and rage, self-harmers generally don’t express those sorts of emotions openly, and bottle them inside. The only way they know that works of releasing them is by inflicting pain on themselves. Hence the NOT ATTENTION SEEKING.
19. If I wanted attention I would go slit my wrists in the toilets and walk out with my clothes soaking in blood, collapse in the middle of the floor, and wail.
20. Other people self harm because they’re so emotionally numb on the inside, they need the pain to remind themselves that they’re alive.
21. Others hurt themselves because they believe they deserve it.
22. There are many, many other reasons for self harm.
23. There is not one direct cause. There is usually a trigger. A trigger may be a picture of a cut. That will get me thinking of cuts. That will get ,e into the mindset of cutting. And inevitably, I will want to cut.
24. Other triggers include any form of high negative emotion.
25. There is a difference between cutting for release and cutting for addiction.
26. Addiction-cutting is when you used to cut because you needed it, and now you cut because you can’t stop. You have no way of controlling the emotions without cutting. So you cut when you’re angry, sad, depressed, etc. It works. Temporarily. So when the same emotion comes up, you do it again. Only this time it doesn’t work as well. So you do it harder. And etc.
27. We know we shouldn’t do it, it’s no use telling us that.
28. Some of us like our scars, some of us hate them. Some are proud of them, some are ashamed. Just because one likes them and the other doesn’t, does not mean that the one who likes them is “okay” with what they do.
29. The need and want to self-harm rarely goes away.
30. Ask us questions about what we do. If we don’t want to talk about it – don’t push it. But if we do want to talk about it – keep asking questions. Don’t let us do all the talking. Ask questions. Questions are caring. Questions show us that you love us enough to want to know what we do, so you can understand and be there for us as best as you can.

2 thoughts on “Dos and donts of self harm”

  1. Amen–Agreed. I hate the “friends” who know I cut & about my shitty past but would absolutely rather act like it’s not an issue than ask me about it. I am disgusted by the indifference.
    I appreciate your list! Thanks

  2. Hey Shirley,

    Reading your latest blog post was really hard for me. All I want to do is reach through the computer and give you a hug. Can you please give yourself one for me until the day we meet?

    I pictured you writing this – I imagine you as beautiful girl who is carrying a lot of baggage and a lot of pain. I can sense your anger and frustration- sometimes it feels like nobody understands. I use to battle with finding happiness; it’s taken me a long time to get to where I am now. Just remember you are never alone – I know there are people who love you unconditionally, and there are people like me who pray that we can reach out and help in any way possible! If you ever want to talk, you can find my contact details on or send me an email @, I’m always checking that.

    I’m going to keep up with your future blogs as often as possible. I want to see you kick those feelings of negativity in the butt! You are gifted and I can tell that your story is going to someday inspire others.


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