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December 14, 2021

I Need Someone

V2: Recovery

I put my fingers to the piano and seek out a melody at the black and white keys. A new melody of my own. Sometimes the tune falters. Sometimes not. But I don’t care. We all falter. At playing music. At life.

As I play, I can see the neat and orderly scars, horizontal ladder rungs up my arm. Each the same length and width. Each a marker of before.

I return to now. This music as balm. I pull out the piece I have been working on for weeks. Open the page. Open myself. It feels good to make this music, to bask in the sunlight. To feel the light play with the hairs on my arms. To feel the warmth on my shoulder as I play this difficult piece. As Rachmaninov’s shadows and light dance across the keys, clouds cover and uncover the sun’s face.

Getting well is like shadow and light, too. Lots of shadows. Relapses and meds that didn’t work, people who didn’t get me. I was in a dark place, that cutting time. I wasn’t sure I’d ever see the light again. But after all, the sun rises.

For a long time, I thought I didn’t deserve sunshine. But I do. I deserve a little sun. Now and again. For living through all of the pain. For making it. 

Light and dark. I’m working on that balance. In music. In life. At least, I feel.

Self-Harm by the Numbers:

What is it?

  • deliberately hurting your body without suicidal intent and not for body modification purposes (not tattooing or piercing, for example)
  • causing injury in an attempt to self-punish or to cope with pain, self-directed anger, anxiety, self-criticism, frustration
  • most common methods include cutting, burning, scratching and bruising

Why am I self-harming?

People who are hurting and may not have healthier ways to cope, manage or express emotions, find temporary relief, a rush or a high, or a sense of calm from self-harming. It can become addictive, so they may have established a pattern of self-harm.

If you’re thinking of self-harming:

  • The initial release of tension is often quickly followed by feelings of shame and guilt, so now these are added to the already painful other emotions you’re feeling
  • It can be habit-forming
  • You can accidentally go too far, ending up with a life-threatening injury
  • Not a healthy way to cope with intense feelings
  • Not a long-term solution for emotional problems

HELP! I need somebody

Instead of self-harming:

·  Text a friend or loved one

·  Talk to a trusted teacher or counsellor

·  Approach a parent

·  Call or text a help line

·  Try a distraction: hold an ice cube or peel an orange

Try this at home:

·  Take a break from social media

·  Accept help from friends who try to reach out to you

·  Hang out with your pet

·  Go for a walk

·  Do some movement or meditation

·  Let your tears flow if they want to

·  Try journaling or drawing

·  Pick up your instrument or your pen and write a song

Cultural Strategy:

·  Seek out an elder in your family who you feel close to

·  Follow a traditional practice that calms you

·  Walk in nature or visit your sacred place/space

For more information: