Anna Johnson's story

I started self-harming in June 2010. I don't quite know why, but I had just lost my Auntie who I was very close to in the February. I didn't understand what I was doing to myself. I wanted to tell somebody so much, but I feared that they'd shout at me because it was a stupid thing to do. My school started to find out when they saw the burn I had given myself on my hand. It happened twice, but my head of year and my mum decided that it was just a 'phase' and I let them get on with it because, well like I said, I didn't know what was happening. I've been bullied through all of my school life which has affected me a lot emotionally, because I have never understood why somebody would just take a complete dislike to me and call me all the names under the sun. I really just felt like I didn't fit in anywhere.

Anyhow, it wasn't until February 2013 that my self harm began a lot more frequent after a falling out with a friend. I felt so worthless, I didn't even see the point in living, I just didn't care about anything. I would walk around with my cuts on show all around school, because I had a mind frame of "I won't be here soon so what does it matter? They will all see what all those horrible names did to me!" That didn't help, because people probably thought I was an attention seeker.

I started talk therapy around the middle of June that year, and continued until January just gone. It was really helpful, the woman I worked with was lovely and gave me a lot of distractions to use. I had relapsed quite a few times during the time working with her, but she understood 100% and would just sit with me while I cried to comfort me. I would see her quite a lot and that gave me time to say "right, it is Monday today and you are seeing your counsellor next Friday, don't cut until then." It worked! I've continued to use a lot of the other distractions, and I also keep a tracker of the days that I have not self harmed. I am currently 13 weeks from when I last self harmed.

I really do think talk therapy was the best thing in all of my recovery, because you cover a lot of topics that lead you to self harm and also, it gives you skills to communicate to help your self harm become less frequent.

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