So I want to start by saying that this image was not made with the intention to romanticize or encourage people to self harm only to say that if you already have these scars, you do not need to hate yourself or your body.
I have struggled with self harm since I was 13. And I would beat myself up every time I relapsed, I was ashamed and disgusted with myself. I did that thing you do when you wear weather inappropriate clothing in order to cover them up. I refused to go swimming, wouldn't let my girlfriend touch me, and I always wore long enough pants to cover my legs. I made excuses and lied about the source of my injuries. I fell off my bike. I have an angry cat at home. After I was kicked out of my home I gained a bunch of weight. I hated myself and my body, I felt weak because I couldn't stop eating, and because I couldn't find any other way to cope other than hurting myself. I'm still in a really bad place in my life, and I'm finding myself falling back on these unhealthy coping mechanisms and I feel so shitty about it. I'm a teacher now, and I don't want my kids to see my scars, I don't want parents seeing them either.
But I have enough pain in my life without me hating myself for doing what I need to survive.
Because that's the important thing. I survived.
And as bad as these coping mechanisms are, they are a sign of my struggle, physical evidence of my struggle to stay alive and keep fighting.
You don't need to hate yourself for doing what you needed to survive. You do not have to feel ashamed. There are so many things in your life that are weighing down on you, you don't need to be weighing down on yourself. Forgive yourself for doing what you had to to survive and love yourself. Get yourself help for your mental illness and keep fighting. And the only way to get better, and to stop leaning on self harm to get you through, is to love yourself. Because if you keep hating yourself, it is only going to keep you in this downward spiral that takes you farther from recovery. Recovery is always the goal.
So now about these characters.
Emanaia, who is in the purple bubble, is from my comic Fallen.
Adrianna, who is in the yellow bubble, is from my book, Vigilante: Fallout.
Jeanine, who is in the green bubble, was the first character I wrote to have self harm scars, and is from my comic, To Haunt a Phantom.
And Oliver, who is in the pink bubble, is from my book, Vigilante: Fallout.
What makes me sad is that all the female characters shown here are LGBT. Em is gay, and Adrianna and Jeanine are both bisexual. Oliver is straight, but was raised by two gay dads. And these are my characters, I made them this way, but any character I have that self harms, I relate to that character on some level, and I'm queer, so it makes sense that the characters I single out as being mentally ill are also queer. They say to write what you know, and I have my own perspective on mental illness and what that entails and how ugly it gets, so that comes through in these characters.
But yeah, you do not have to be ashamed of your scars.
And this image was not meant to encourage self harm. It's a dark, dangerous, and addictive path to take, one that can lead you further from where you need to be. If you feel the urge to hurt yourself, I urge you to seek professional help long before it ever reaches that point. You are not weak for asking for help. And it is never too late, you are never too far gone. You can from back from this.