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Raising Awareness of Self-Harm Through Poetry


Natalie, who is supported to live in one of Potens’ residential services in Lancashire, has self-harmed since the age of 13. She is now sharing her story through a poem, written by herself, with the aim to educate others and demonstrate how lack of understanding of self-harm affects her.


Potens Manager, Michelle McColl said: “Natalie really wants to raise awareness through her writing about the impact that negative comments and associations can have upon people who self -harm.


A local training provider, ‘Person Fist Solutions’, read Natalie’s poem and with permission will now be featuring it within their specialist  self-harm course as a key learning tool for care and support staff.


“The aim is for the poem to  educate and inform people who support individuals with mental health needs about the impact of self-harm and create greater awareness.” Michelle adds.



This is her poem:


I live with schizophrenia and Borderline personality disorder and sometimes I self-harm.
Some people think it is attention seeking but it is a release that keeps me calm.
I would like to make people aware that it is never attention seeking
For myself I would like to make the point it is more like attention needing.
I never do it so people make a fuss more so to communicate
If I self-harm I’m saying that something is wrong and I’m not in a very good state.
I often self-harm cos the physical pain erases the emotions I feel inside
When I cut and the blood pours out its replacing the tears I struggle to cry.
If you had a headache and had a break then your headache would be forgotten?
So when I am hurting inside and self-harm I forget I’m feeling internally rotten.
Ligaturing is not always a suicide attempt. It gives me peace from my problems.
For some this is a dangerous extreme I go to, to make my difficulties go and feel that I’m fine.
Cutting on the other hand is less serious. That’s more about seeing the blood and when the skin becomes an open wound I can sigh relief and return to feeling good.
Inserting objects is like a distraction. When I insert I forget my bad thoughts. Now it’s quite rare I do this. The method wasn’t learnt it was self-taught.
Punching walls is another way I self-harm. I do it to let all my anger out. I do it if I am struggling to talk or I feel I am not able to scream and shout.
Head banging is for pent up frustration and everything’s getting to me.
I feel banging my head off a rock or slid wall lets all my madness and anger run free.
Each method of self-harm that I use is unique in its own way
In the future I’d like to be self-harm free and be able to talk out my feelings someday.
I wrote this poem to help make people understand
There can be many reasons behind it
It’s never an attention seeking demand!

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