Hello, and thank you for reaching out to us!
That’s a very good question, and I would think that you can’t be alone on this. Self-harm, no matter how taboo it seems to be in society, is something many people have struggled with. So then, let me first commend you for being comfortable enough to ask this question.
I think the key to learning how to accept your self-harm scars is through reflection. As I said before, self-harm is rarely discussed in society, and it is often looked down on. Personally, we, at ConnecTeen, have a different stance on self-harm. Although we don’t encourage self-harm, as it’s not the healthiest coping strategy, we understand that for some people it feels like the only way to cope. Ask yourself why do you struggle with accepting your scars? Why are you not comfortable with people seeing them?
This is a tough question, so there is nothing wrong with taking the time you need to answer this question fully and honestly. There is nothing wrong with also giving yourself time to heal.
After determining what it is about showing your scars that you cannot accept, it is up to you to try and take the time to reconcile those reasons. Unfortunately, I cannot provide any concrete answer of how to do this, as everyone is unique and different and will do this in their own ways. Discussing these reasons with trusted family, friends, counsellors, and/or teachers can often help you to get others’ opinions on the matter, as well as reading about it on the internet. If there is any sentiment that I could provide you with to assist you in reconciling your reasons, it would be this:
I’ve spoken to many individuals who struggle with accepting self-harm. Often times, the predominant feelings that fuels their inability to accept their self-harm are shame and guilt. Guilt over the fact that they would do something like cut themselves. Shame that they would be weak enough to cut themselves. Shame over how others will perceive them. In my personal opinion, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed or guilty about, and most of all no one is weak for self-harming.
Everyone goes through tough times where they need help, and the situations of everyone vary drastically in seriousness and severity. Naturally, everyone needs to cope as best they can with their situation, and sometimes, as I said before, the only thing that works for people is self-harm. As odd and counterintuitive as it may be, self-harm can help people by letting them escape their current feelings and cope with what they are going through.
No one wants to feel the feelings of stress and anxiety constantly, so I truly cannot blame anyone for feeling the need to self-harm. Are there healthier alternatives to self-harm? Of course there are, and one can work on trying to utilize such alternatives more, but I really believe one should not feel guilty or ashamed for trying to be strong and help themselves get through tough times. What matters now is that you survived those tough times.
Others may see your scars and judge you, but you know what you’ve been through and how much stronger you’re becoming because of it. I’d advise you to try and find empowerment from that.
I wish you the best in trying to reconcile your thoughts. If you wish to discuss these thoughts with us further in a faster means of communication, feel free to text us at 587-333-2724 or call at 403-264-8336.
All the best,