Depression

Forgiveness and Self-Harm

Forgiveness and Self-Harm | Libero Magazine
We must learn to be compassionate to ourselves, and out of this self-compassion, to forgive ourselves for having damaged our bodies in very real ways.

Before you start reading...

Support our nonprofit magazine!

We are a nonprofit. Please support our work by giving $2 towards this article!

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $2

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.


My left wrist is covered with scars; so are my right thigh and my left shoulder. Some of the scars have faded in years gone by–they are hardly noticeable anymore — yet, some still sit angry red upon my skin. I’ve struggled with self-harm for almost a decade now. It’s still hard to see these ever-present reminders engraved on my body of how I tried to kill my sadness, make myself feel something, or punish myself.

Sometimes, I get angry at myself for having harmed my body in this way.

Anger occurs when you or something you care about is being harmed or threatened, therefore, it is only natural to feel anger at having self-harmed. However, anger at ourselves is not helpful in this situation. It only leads to guilt and shame–to defining ourselves by our self-harm, and not through who we are as a person.

We must learn to be compassionate to ourselves, and out of this self-compassion, to forgive ourselves for having damaged our bodies in very real ways.

A few months ago, I had a self-harm relapse and came down hard on myself, feeling incredibly guilty for my mistake. Then, I remembered the need to be compassionate during this difficult time.

Self-compassion involves being kind and understanding with ourselves as we would with a friend. It means recognizing we are not alone in our mistakes, weaknesses, and failures.


Are you enjoying this article? We are a nonprofit and depend on donations to keep running. If you are enjoying this article, would you consider making a $2 donation?

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $2

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.


Making mistakes is intrinsically human and a normal part of life.

Through having compassion for ourselves, we are able to accept our struggles with self-harm as a part of our humanness. And, in our humanity, we can forgive ourselves for having injured our bodies.

We don’t really think about forgiving ourselves for our struggles, mistakes, and failures.

Forgiveness seems to me to be interpersonal–something that occurs only when we have wronged and harmed another. But, it is equally as applicable when we have wronged and harmed ourselves, especially when we are feeling anger and guilt.

 

Forgiveness and Self-Harm | Libero Magazine

 

Forgiveness is challenging. It is not black-and-white, and there is not an instruction manual on how to forgive yourself.

It might involve writing a letter of forgiveness to yourself, or treating yourself gently and kindly as you would a friend. Maybe it’s simply saying “I forgive you” to yourself over and over until you believe it.

Regardless, forgiveness means we stop being angry at ourselves about our self-harm. It means we stop blaming ourselves for the pain we have caused.

This is counterintuitive to what we naturally want to do, but it is vital to walking in freedom.

If we continue to blame ourselves–to be angry for our struggles with self-harm–we end up defining ourselves by our struggle.

The truth is that we are so much more than our self-harm, past or present.

Forgiveness permits us to live free from the guilt and shame which can accompany anger. Forgiveness allows us to see beyond our struggles and frees us to be more.

Share this post:

Sarah currently resides in Washington D.C. and is a MA psychology student researching eating disorders and body image. After struggling with her own mental health difficulties, Sarah is a huge advocate for mental health. She believes that recovery and healing are possible for everyone and hopes to help others achieve recovery through her work. In her free time, you can find her watching Netflix, drinking coffee, or studying. Sarah blogs sometimes over at sarahvandeweert.com.

If you enjoyed this article, please donate $2

As a nonprofit, we rely on donations to keep our magazine and community running. If you enjoyed this article, please consider donating:

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $2

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.


Report ad as harmful | Ad Policy
Don't Like Seeing Ads? We are a nonprofit and ads are one way we raise money to keep our site and projects going. If you don't like to see ads on our site, signup for monthly donations and help us fully fund ourselves through donations!

The opinions and information shared in this article may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process.

Support our nonprofit magazine + community!

Donate to Libero Magazine

We are a nonprofit. Please help us continue to champion mental health by making a donation!

Donate to Libero Magazine

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $25 One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

Subscribe

Share your story for PRIDE!

Become a Patron!

Support Libero for $5 a Monthly

We are a nonprofit. Support our magazine by signing up for monthly donations!

0 of 20 donors

Support Libero for $5 a Monthly

0 of 20 donors

Though other online publications are starting to charge monthly subscriptions for their content, as a nonprofit, we want our articles to be available free of charge. This means we rely on ongoing donations to keep our magazine running and our website growing.

If you enjoy our content, please sign up to support us monthly! (you can change your mind at any time)

$ 5
Monthly
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $5 Monthly

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

What are you ‘Free from’?

Micaela: Free from Shame | Libero Magazine 1

Report ad as harmful | Ad Policy

Don't Like Seeing Ads? We are a nonprofit and ads are one way we raise money to keep our site and projects going. If you don't like to see ads on our site, signup for monthly donations and help us fully fund ourselves through donations!

Do you blog about mental health?

SITE DISCLAIMER

The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.

Report ad as harmful | Ad Policy

Don't Like Seeing Ads? We are a nonprofit and ads are one way we raise money to keep our site and projects going. If you don't like to see ads on our site, signup for monthly donations and help us fully fund ourselves through donations!
Micaela: Free from Shame | Libero Magazine 1 Send us your story! [click here] or post your “Free from___” photo on Instagram and tag us: @liberomagazine!