Going through your teenage years will be challenging; studying for your exams and making new friends, balancing work with your family and just generally learning about who you are. Sometimes you need to find a getaway or what I like to call it, Wonderland. (Yes, I am an Alice in Wonderland fan).
So, how did this whole ‘Wonderland’ come about? Well, when I was in school I used to get bullied for my hair. Being ginger was tough even though it was just a hair colour. The kids used to say to me my hair was on fire or call me “Ginger - Ninja”. It got so tiring let me tell you! But however, it later got more serious, physical. They would start pushing and tripping me. I attempted to tell one of the teachers but nothing was done about it. I felt like I didn’t matter like I was a nobody. So, after a few years of dealing with bullying I didn’t know what else to do but turn to self-harm to release all the pain, I was, incorrectly, blaming myself.
If you don’t know what self-harm is, it can range from physically hurting yourself with a sharp object, for example, a razor blade, scratching yourself to burning yourself to seemingly minor behaviours such as nail digging or hair pulling Self-harm can occur for a wide variety of reasons, all unique to the individual. it may occur when the person who is harming oneself is going through a traumatic time in their life or are dealing with depressive episodes like bullying etc. However, the intention is rarely suicide. Instead, it can be to punish themselves, express their distress, relieve unbearable tension, take control or simply be a cry for help. Sometimes the reason is a mix and cannot be identified. That is also okay.
As I mentioned previously, self-harm can also be a cry for help.
Some people will say “Why not just get help?” It’s not as simple as that for some people and I am one of them. I started after a few years of being bullied because, as I said, I didn’t know where else to turn. I would come home from school and I would lock myself in my room and start harming myself. Unfortunately, wI looks back on it now and to be honest with you I wish I never turned to self-harm.
Engaging in these behaviours daily meant they became a part of my routine. Until someone found out. It was one of my friends who later decided to tell my parents. It was just so frightening to hear. Thankfully, I reflect on it now and I couldn’t be more grateful for her decision because she was just looking out for me and she meant well!
My parents sat me down that same day and asked me why, why didn’t I tell them how I was feeling. So my reply was, “Because I was afraid that you didn’t care and would get angry with me”. I don’t know why I thought that and to this day I still don’t have a reason why.
They referred me to a specialist, a therapist who had experience in helping and supporting teenagers who go through stuff like this. The therapist I went to see was called Dr Lanzo and he was so funny I really got on well with him and the main thing was I felt comfortable with him.
The sessions I had with him were so helpful! He didn’t ask me straight away why I was self-harming, he got to know me and find out my background first. I think that is really important for the therapist to do, it makes the patient feel comfortable.
So after getting to know me, he delved into what the problem was and how he and I should resolve it. We started doing exercises that would help prevent me from turning to self-harm when I got in a depressive episode. These exercises were ones I could do at home, allowing me to extend my sessions beyond the therapy room. One of these exercises I really used regularly was journaling. I would have my own journal and I would do little tasks in it that would be helpful to me.
Later I looked on Pinterest for more activities for me to do and there was so many that I never thought of. Here’s the link to what I found; https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?q=journal%20inspiration&rs=rs&eq=&etslf=2358&term_meta=journal%7Crecentsearch%7C1&term_meta=inspiration%7Crecentsearch%7C1
I still use these exercises to this day because I love and enjoy doing them. It also motivates me each day! Some of my favourite ones though have to be; planning out my daily routine, things that make me happy and things that inspire me.
Simple things like this can help you in your day-to-day life and make it much happier. My mood swings have changed dramatically since I’ve started this activity scheme. I surprise myself each day and it’s actually fun in some ways to learn something new about myself.
I started YouTube back in 2012 because of the learning scheme I started to use. My Youtube has become a big part of my life now and I would never look back! My Youtube is like a personal journal to me and also a thing to look back on old memories.
I never knew starting my own channel would become such an important part of my life, it’s like I’m showing people my life in a movie. I think I’ll do a separate article on how my Youtube entered my life and how it’s going right now. So, make sure you keep an eye out for that one! If you’re interested in what I have said and would like to visit my channel here is a direct link; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGFmBAacICpZ4iZtNp3PKXA?view_as=subscriber -Mel <3