Sometimes people will ask where I got the scars from. I don’t want to say I gave them to myself. I want to say that I chose to live. But it’s never that simple.
As soon as you admit SI is a coping skill you use in place of doing something worse, or feeling something worse, you have to try to explain that feeling. And trying to explain depression to someone who doesn’t deal with it is incredibly difficult.
Have they ever told you guys to “think happy thoughts?” Seriously, like that would just solve everything. “Put a smile on!” They’ll exclaim, like if we smile we’ll magically feel happy. Telling them depression is a disease doesn’t really help. They suggest medications they know nothing about and you don’t even feel like telling them you’ve been on so many medications that you’ve been approached by RX dealers for the leftovers.
If they’re really feeling gutsy, they’ll challenge your reasons. They might ask if you enjoy injuring, or is this just some thing you do to be cool. Most of the time, you’re too tired to even answer. They might ask what’s going on in your life that makes you do this.
Is there really ever any one answer to that question? Maybe if all I had to deal with was school, I’d be fine. Maybe if I could focus all of my energy on dealing with my dysfunctional family, I could do it. Maybe if I only had normal teenage problems, like boyfriends and acne, to compound my feelings of inadequacy, I could manage. Maybe if I was sexually abused just once and was believed, I wouldn’t feel the need to continue the cycle of self abuse. But it’s never just one thing. It’s always a long story, and you never feel like telling it.
So maybe you ask them to go screw themselves, or maybe you say you’re getting treatment and “working really hard on working through this”, or maybe you just walk away.