Why I am not Pro Self Injury

From this site you might think I am a pro cutter. After all, I defend my right to harm myself without censure, and I believe self injury is a valid choice in the same way as drinking alcohol or other methods of coping with life are.

I am not Pro SI. To me, to be pro SI is to advocate the use of self injury as a coping mechanism (or spiritual technique). I don't do this. I happen to use self injury as my method of coping with life, as a means of giving me certain benefits, as something I enjoy and find release in. I accept self injury as a valid spiritual practise (see Ariel Glucklich's book, Sacred Pain). Here is the distinction, though - I don't say that this is a good method, that this is something you ought to try, that self injury is some wonderful panacea that will help you.

The fact is that some of us self injure and I believe we have the right to do so, but I would no more suggest self injury to someone than I would suggest that they take to drink to solve their problems. There are, perhaps, better ways of dealing with life than taking a blade to your skin. I do this from choice - and I support your choice, but will not make or try to suggest that choice to you.

That said I think it is time for a grown up discussion about self injury, for us to really think about why self injury is so much worse than other coping methods (like alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping) and why we who self injure are somehow more mad than those who hit the whiskey bottle when they're down.

I am not pro SI, but I am pro CHOICES. I, and other self injurers, deserve the dignity of making our own decisions, whether to cut or not to cut, without the infantilisation we are currently subject to.


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