My story of Self Harm and Overworking to Cope with Mental Health, by Rethink Advocate megane Jacques
The next few times I cut myself, were all impulsive, emotional, call-for-help kind of actions. Still, it felt like the right thing at the moment. I started to realize, a lot later on, once in college, that cutting brought me so much anxiety of « what if people find out » that it didn’t even bring me the same thrill as before.
Unconsciously, I had already found other unhealthy coping methods that I was doing to ease the everyday life: I was burying myself and my thoughts under social implications, extracurriculars and such. For a few years, I was literally home only to sleep; eating and changing clothes in the car in between activities. This lifestyle seemed healthy to most, I was getting praised for being « so involved » and dedicated, people thought I was wonderful to be able to do so many things. It took a while, but eventually I was tired. The sad thing is, I didn’t really live my youth because I was so busy; and once I was tired, I got tired of everything. I wanted to drop everything, things became meaningless. I was literally exhausting myself to death, just to be able to bear myself.
I still have to work on that, but once I realized what I was doing was problematic and started talking about it, it became easier to try to just chill and enjoy calm moments. I wouldn’t be able to do it if it wasn’t for my family’s support and the tips and tricks I developed by myself and through therapy.
For me, the key isn’t meditation or mindfulness, that just doesn’t work with my hyperactive brain, but drawing, journalling and such activities that allow me to focus only on one thing do calm me and it helps a lot when I’m in a rough patch.
Getting rid of unhealthy coping methods isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Speak up, it’s going to be okay, you don’t need to be ashamed, You’ve found a way to survive, now let’s live for real. "