Hear me out.
Cutting is self harm but it’s not the only form.
Drinking is self harm.
Drugs are self harm.
Cigarettes are self harm.
Not wearing a seat belt is self harm.
Biting the skin off your lips and around your nail beds.
Having unprotected sex.
Dating in 2019 is self harm.
Plucking your eyebrows.
Working out excessively.
Waxing your legs.
Skipping dessert. (Arguably)
How can all of these things be considered self harm? They are performed by people who are trying to feel better or self soothe. Anytime you willingly submit to pain you are practicing self harm and self-harm is really just dysfunctional self care.
Wait; hold up, did I cross a line? How can I compare plucking your eyebrows to intentionally cutting ones skin? Surely I can’t lump forgetting your seat belt in with cutting. You’re right, not wearing a seat belt is far more deadly.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating for self harm. (Except for desserts; I advocate for desserts.) But is it weird to anyone else that some self harm is more socially acceptable than others?
Let’s work to end the stigma around self harm. My scars are not worse because I wear them like armor, yours are not less because you hide them inside. If you see someone out this summer with scars exposed, don’t shame them. Don’t mention them, don’t stare, don’t treat them any different than the next person with a drink in their hand. Please be intentionally kind to everyone. We’re all just trying to feel better, one way or another.
And don’t skip dessert.