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March 1st is self-harm/injury awareness day. I feel that self-harm/injury is spoken about so little. I understand that it isn’t nice to think about it, but the reality is that it happens a lot more than you realise. It is hard to get statistics on how many people do because the majority of people won’t tell anyone.
I love that mental health is getting more awareness but I feel that self-harm has been left behind. I feel so much shame in the fact that I’ve self-harmed, more shame than having an eating disorder and mental illness. And every time I think about it, I tear up because of the amount of pain I was in to inflict it upon myself. It is a horrible thing to do to yourself but there needs to be less stigma surrounding it.
This is why I want to show you my mental health toolkit. I wish I could do a post on ‘x ways to stop self-harming’ but I honestly do not know how to. I think that because I wanted to stop, I could try to. If you don’t want to stop then it won’t work. But it isn’t something you can just snap out of and I really wish that people would stop saying ‘just don’t do it’ – it doesn’t work like that.
My self-harm distractions box
Firstly, I would just like to say that originally I made this box to help with my suicidal thoughts a few years back. Obviously suicidal thoughts & self-harm isn’t the same thing, but when I looked into this box it made me smile.
What I included
- A box* to put everything in
- Stickers my sister gave me
- A bubble bar
- A photo album
- A keyring
- A giraffe pencil, biro, red marker & paper
- Body spray that my mum gave me
- Nail varnish that my cousin got me
- A postcard from a friend
- Rose hand cream*
- Best friend keyring
- Little sister necklace
- My favourite roll-on perfume
- Starfish that my sister made me
- Note from my friend
- Origami star my brother made me
- Bracelet my sister bought me
- Self-harm helpline number
- List of distractions
Now, you don’t need to include everything or even any, but these things all make me smile. I haven’t opened this box in a year or two which is encouraging really, because it means I haven’t felt so low that I needed it. Looking in it to write this post felt a bit like going through a memory box.
These aren’t just random items I chucked in a box, they all have a special meaning behind them so I’m going to talk you through them.
Why I included these items
I think I bought this box from Paperchase but it can be any old box, like a shoebox. Or, it could be a bag, folder etc.
My sister bought me these for my birthday when I was younger. Weirdly, I never liked to use them up so I just kept them in my stationary drawer. Maybe part of the reason I kept them in this box was because it reminded me of simpler times as a child.
There’s something so lovely about receiving a handwritten letter, so it’s nice to reread them.
The Rose Jam bubble bar from Lush has always been my absolute favourite! Opening the box and having that smell waft through the room is so relaxing. It doesn’t have to be a bath bomb, it could be anything with a nice scent 💗
I look so much younger 🙈 Also, I didn’t want to put my friends’ faces on here so put an emoji over them. My friend made me this photo album for Christmas ages ago which was so sweet of her! I don’t talk to her that much anymore which kinda sucks.
Having some photos in your mental health toolkit are is good because you can look back on great memories ❤
This keyring always makes me smile because I visited this adventure park one time on holiday.
Giraffe pencil, biro, red marker & paper
These things have more to do with self-harm than most of the other items. One of the few things that helped me fight an urge was scribbling on a piece of paper with a red marker. Specifically, a whiteboard pen or a felt tip. A biro was ok but I always just felt that it didn’t help so much. The pencil was there incase the pens ran out or if I wanted to use something else. Alternatively, ripping up the paper sometimes helped me.
Plus, the pencil is from a safari park I went to with my parents so it reminds me of that 🦒
This isn’t just a random perfume. My mum gave this to me and because I loved it so much, I didn’t want to use it all. Whenever I sprayed it, it reminded me of her which I think is important when you feel down. To remind you that people love you ❤ I’m wearing it as I write this 🥰
Once again, this isn’t a random nail varnish, it has a meaning behind it. My cousin bought it for me for my birthday (literally ages ago) so of course I put it in this box.
One of my oldest friends sent me this about 8 years ago. We actually went to the same parts of France all the time, just never at the same time. She got me this postcard because of the cute cat! I always love receiving postcards, makes my heart melt ❤
Rose hand cream
Going to be totally honest, I’m not entirely sure why I put this in the box. I think maybe because rose is one of my favourite scents 🌹
Best friend keyring
This is one of those cute best friend heart things. I remember that my friend wasn’t that into necklaces so I found this (we were obsessed with them, though I can’t for the life of me remember what they are called🤦♀️). I thought it was perfect and so I treasured this deeply 💞
Little sister necklace
So this is kinda similar to the last item, except this is with my sister and me. This necklace was literally my most important pocession and the necklaces would connect which I still think is pretty cool tbh! 💜
This used to be my favourite perfume, though I seem to remember it being purple…😬 I would say maybe don’t do this because if it’s your favourite, you should use it everyday! My current favourite perfume is Ghost which I put on most days because it just makes me that bit happier ✨
My sister sent me this (many years ago) and I’ve always loved it ⭐
I love this because my brother made it for me! I included something into this box that each of my family members made me to remind me that they love me ❤
My sister got me this when she went to Barcelona. I absolutely adore Spain and the colour of this bracelet so it was perfect for the box.
This is the self-harm helpline number for my county, Gloucestershire. Maybe don’t call/text it if you don’t live here. My teacher gave this card to me so I kept it in this box in case I didn’t have my phone with me or something.
Samaritans: 116 123
List of distractions
Last but not least, a list of distractions is always useful. Just incase, nothing in the box has already helped you, this might. ❤
You might be thinking, this is great…but what about something I can take with me everywhere? I had that same thought.
My self-harm distractions box | Pocket edition
I carried this around in my school bag, just incase I ever had an urge during school. It was really reassuring to know that there was some options for coping, especially if I didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on.
What I included
- Pink bag to put everything in
- Red marker & paper
- A quartz bracelet
- A bracelet I bought on holiday
These may seem like simple things but the red pen and paper really did help me. The bracelets were there as comfort ❤
I this helps someone reading this blog post, just a reminder that if you are struggling – please reach out to someone. If you don’t want to tell someone that knows you, text or call a helpline or you can text me. Don’t struggle alone xx
Best wishes Cx