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Oliver shares with us what feeling overwhelmed is like for them.
Some days, just even opening my eyes feels hard. I lay there arguing with myself in my head: whether to try and sleep the whole day; or whether to try and talk myself into facing the day…
Then comes the endless interactions with others:
“did you sleep ok?”
“how are you doing today?”
“can you make sure you eat breakfast please?”
“got any plans for today?”
“what about your future – we need to get your college sorted?”
then I go upstairs to get dressed:
what to wear today, nothing feels ‘right’ or comfortable, nothing feels ‘me’ – how do I cover the scars? Then I feel angry – why should I cover the scars? But I don’t feel brave enough not to. I feel so angry with myself for cutting, I hate that I did it but now I feel proud of myself for stopping, but sad that I did it…
I think I will just stay in my pjs today – getting dressed feels too much, too hard, too many decisions to make.
I sit watching TV, just trying to ignore the world and it’s many demands of me: from what I think of anything and everything (I am supposed to have an opinion on politics, my education, best films, worst band, foods I like…the list is endless). I like TV, I can get lost in not having to think or even follow what’s happening too much; my mind can flit in and out without demands or questions.
I am falling asleep when my phone goes: a text. Great – another distraction and prompt to enter someone else’s world.
This time it’s different: someone is entering my world.
“ Hi love, just want to say – I love you. I know you are finding things hard and I may not help in the best way, but I want to help. Let me know how I can.”
I sit and think. Help: I am being offered it but I don’t even know what I need.
I reply: “Mum, I don’t know what I need. I am very unhappy but I don’t know why.”
Mum: “it’s ok to be unhappy and not know why. It’s ok to be happy and not know why. All you need to know is that you are loved, feeling like this won’t last forever, and no matter what, we will be with you, however long it takes”.
I fly downstairs and run to my mum, sitting in the sofa. I climb on her lap and am engulfed in her hug. I am safe (even when I don’t feel safe), I am loved (even when I don’t feel loved), I will get better (even when I can’t remember the last good day I had), my mum might annoy me and ask loads of questions but she actually wants to help.
When it all feels too much: I know this, I am not on my own.
I have found someone who wants to know me even when it feels too much.
It might not be your mum who texts you, it might be that you have to text someone a sad face to let them know you aren’t doing well.
I used to expect people to know that something wasn’t going well without me having to tell them, but now I realise, it’s up to me to ask for help: I can’t expect people to guess.
I am glad my mum text me, I know other people don’t have that. I hope you can find someone today to help you if you are feeling like this – it might be a friend, a counsellor, a youth worker or even the Samaritans – you can call them free or text them 116 123 (I have called them a few times and they were really helpful and kind and didn’t judge me at all).
SelfharmUK run Alumina which is an online support session for young people struggling with self-harm: it’s open to all, it’s confidential, very relaxed and run by professionals so is completely safe for you.