Self-injury awareness day occurs on March 1st every year.
It has been taking place for 16 years, around the globe. Raising awareness about self-injury is incredibly important.
Awareness leads to understanding and empathy, banishing judgment, fear and reducing the number of people who feel alone, suffering in silence.
Sometimes it’s too late to help the ones we love. Too late to stop those scars from forming. It’s too late.
Yet how we wish, how we wish, we could go back to the time when they felt alone and be there with them. Be there to understand, to take their hand and lead them away from fear and desperation and the cruel sharpness that cut and dug deep into their lonely core.
If we could, we would. If we could, we’d tell those we love, that their core was beautiful.
Sometimes, in quiet moments, I think about how I would like to go back to those times.
To take one large, bold step back and be there next to you.
Maybe you’d be able to hear how I would whisper in your ear.
Maybe you would just turn your head for a brief moment, glance behind your shoulder at the closed bedroom door.
Maybe you would feel, for a brief, brief, slice of time, that you weren’t alone in that darkness.
Maybe you would feel my hand on yours; lightly, tenderly but with a force so strong and full and absolute.
Maybe you would stop. Sit down. Breathe.
Maybe the darkness, fire and the sharp pull on your body would be cut, released, freed.
Maybe, with whispers and placed hands and tenderness, I would send all of that recoiling and falling and diminishing into
a dark stain, small and powerless but there only to remind you of what you’d overcome.
Breathe. Breathe and breathe.
Hands and whispers and silence.
Closed doors, trembling fingers and tears which burned, burned, burned their way down familiar paths.
If I could, I would be there.
If I could, I would show you, in the way you would turn your head and see a branch swaying in a breeze.
You would see, then, in that moment, in silence and with salty, stinging cheeks, you would see.
You would see, as I retreated from you, leaving only a trace of my hand on yours, you would see the small branch swaying,
swaying, swaying in the breeze.
And it would all come crashing in.
It would all burn away to that small, dark stain on the floor.
It would all go, go, go and you would be left, there, with shaking fingers and a closed bedroom door and the branch
go on swaying gently back and back and, release.
I would leave you with the realization that you were, you are, you always have been beautiful.
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Author: Lorna Marques-Brocksopp
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock