The beginning of the March marked National Self-injury Awareness Day. This day is dedicated to and recognizes any person who inflicts self-harm on themselves intentionally in any way. People in my life and in my friend’s lives have been directly affected and hurt by self-harming, which is why I believe it is important to acknowledge this day. People self-harm for many reasons: the feeling of emptiness, depression, anxiety, etc., but it is important to know that there are other means of expression and ways to handle emotional pain besides bodily harm. Also, that there are people to talk to about breaking this habit. There are organizations that provide information on where to receive help and where to get started.
The organization To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a non-profit Christian affiliated association dedicated to creating awareness about the dangers of self-harm. They promote healthy recovery, expressing oneself in a non-harming way and how and where to look for help. The organization began in 2006 in hopes to promote safe choices for teenagers. The organization has become extremely well-known through multiple celebrity endorsements as well as online campaigns and advertisements. Their website, TWLOHA.com provides information about the association, facts about self-harm and also links and phone numbers pointing people in the direction of help. A large part of National Self-injury Awareness Day is to provide alternative choices for people to do instead of self-harm.
Personally, anytime that I find myself feeling anxious or down, I turn to writing poetry. At all times you will see me with a journal in my bag, prepared to express myself at any given second. Poetry is a great form of expression because it allows you to craft words and phrases in any unique form that you choose and you can never be wrong. Just writing down my emotions and problems helps me to cope with my feelings and discover solutions by reflecting on the root of the problem. Poetry is something that doesn’t need to be focused on grammar or structure, which is why it is such a great form of expression for anyone.
No matter what type of expressive activity you find comfort in, it is just important to know that there are other ways to deal with emotional issues rather than self-harming. There are more people than you would expect that do self-harm (approximately four percent of the population). For more statistics and information, check out TWLOHA.com.