Broadening awareness of self-injury and who it affects

Update 1/13/16 – The lack of response on this post has not deterred me. I’ve had a lot going on the past several months, so I slid this project over to the back burner. I’ll be bringing it back to full boil in the next month or so!

This was initially written 2 ½ years ago. That’s how long this has been an idea in my head. I set it aside and every so often would open it up, read it, tweak it a bit, then close it up and put it aside again. I was scared. I’m still scared. I have a simultaneous fear of failure and fear of success. “What if no one responds? What if everyone thinks this is stupid? What if too many people respond? What if I can’t keep up and I let everyone down?” Those fears have not subsided, but this is too important to me to let it sit any longer. If it fails, I’ll try again. If it becomes overwhelming, I’ll take a deep breath and move one step at a time. . . . . If you want to read a piece of my story and why this project is important to me, go here.

Self InjuryI sat at my computer one afternoon browsing through lists of books online. I’m an avid reader and always looking for something new and interesting to add to my list. I stumbled across a book on self-injury. As I looked more closely, it was, as most of the attention surrounding self-injury is, focused on teenage girls. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. I’m grateful for any attention given to self-injury because it’s still such a widely misunderstood affliction. But I started to think that it would be nice to find something that applied to me – a 33-year-old not-always-successful recovering self-injurer.

I started digging through books on self-injury and everything I found seemed to want to shove self-injury into a tight demographic. Teenage girls. Victims of sexual abuse. Girls with eating disorders. Girls with bipolar disorder. I have no doubts that these books are helpful to many people, but what about the rest of us? Better yet, what about all of us?

Over the past couple of years, mostly through my blog and social media, I have become very vocal about my struggles with self-injury. Because of that, I have interacted with many other self-injurers – men and women, young and old. We all come from different backgrounds. We all have different stories. Some of us fit into the perceived demographics. Some of us don’t. And I think there should be a resource for all of us.

Rather than wait for one to emerge, I decided I should just create one myself.

This is all still just an idea in my head. It has no real form or substance. I’m not sure of the shape it will eventually take, but I know that it will take shape. In order for that to happen, I need to connect with other self-injurers – recovering or not, of any and all ages, genders, and backgrounds – who believe this is a venture worth pursuing.

I have two goals with this endeavor – to reach out and offer support to all individuals who self-injure and to help those around us to understand. I admit the goals are broad, purposefully so. I don’t want to box them in . . . just as I don’t want us to be boxed in.

I have noticed a growing understanding of self-injury over the last decade, but there is still a long way to go – for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for the medical community as well. It’s not an easy subject to talk about. It’s inherently secretive for most of us. But the only way broaden understanding is to give self-injury a voice.

We are not alone.

If you’re interested in discussing this project further, fill out the form below. This will be sent directly to my email. It will not be posted publicly.

If you know someone who might be interested, please share this with them . . . or just share it anyway in case someone you know knows someone.

Thank you!