What if hiding was self-injury?

When it comes to the public opinion referring to mental illness, it is highly thought of as physical wounds, excessive violence, or psychiatric hospitals. It is actually trite to think so. Regretfully, plenty of other common myths exist as regards to it.

Over the past months I have felt desperate, numb, lingeringly drowning into my thoughts. 7dbca15430a6f193a67810a200b14023It’s been hard to step aside from words like ‘depression‘ while on some days my mind was pushing my thoughts into a dark yet inevitable direction. ‘You see that car over here? Now, can you imagine for a second what you would become if it ran over you?’ However, all I wanted was to forget this word not only when I was around people, but also when blogging. I made myself to believe that I could take power over these thoughts and they would thus transform into brighter statements and realities. I would become a better person and I would feel better. For someone who had always tried and look for the positive in every situation, it was very unusual in such circumstances.

For some people, depression seemingly means wearing black outfits, staying in bed all week long and having several bloody scars on your wrists. These are unfortunately accurate occurrences but they are not the only ones.

Jamie Tworkowski devotes a chapter to tackle this popular belief in his book entitled If You Feel Too Much. He explores the meaning of self-injury. Self-injury is not just about the blades. It is not ‘all black-and-white’. As he asserts, everything seems to lie in the questions ‘how do we cope with the pain?’ and ‘what do we do with it?’.

I have been hiding for several months now. There is no scar on my skin that indicates the pain I’ve been fighting against. There is no physical proof to this pain.

Sometimes I wish there would solely be a physical way to equal to the emotional pain and relieve all of these feelings. Yet there’s not. There is only music and quotes and words. There are only legions of diary entries about these shady feelings. There are hundreds of commented posts on social media to express my despair. There are only the millions of thoughts navigating the wind and the waves in my mind. There are lyrics of songs I’m still searching for to comprehend my state of mind, or merely to relate to.

There is only pain I don’t know how to handle. How to tell my relatives? How to let the mask fade away? How to let go? How to reach out? How to find a shoulder to lean on? How to cope with the shown deprivation without feeling pitied or ashamed or annoying? 

There are only solutions I am giving up on. There is only emptiness, shame and a bloody invisibility cloak.

Hurting, pretending and lies and smiles.

Tears coming from a bleeding heart. From a broken being.

Hide and seek seems to be a matching phrase to explain the way I have been acting lately. Forever willing to unveil my true self through subtle signs put here and there and forever trying to conceal them at the last moment, out of fear and shame.

And I am aware that all of this is denial but in the end that’s where I seem to fit the most in. The broken belongs in the broken places. The torn apart corresponds to the solitary and lonely and empty and routinely kind of life. It only tallies with fallen hopes, broken dreams and shattered expectations.

Denial is comfort. Hiding is safe, playing hide and seek swiftly ends.

I used to be very proud of saying that all the issues that my family has been through have made me stronger, that I have abstained from drugs and that being such a solitary person had helped me understand who I was and the person that I had become. Nevertheless, as of today, I know that I will be truly proud of myself the very day when I’ll be able pronounce the following words : the pretending part ends here and now.


Could the constant hiding ever be considered self-injury?


7 thoughts on “What if hiding was self-injury?

  1. There is one thing that helped me deal with all the emotions I was feeling when I was going through a very sad period in my life and dealing with that stupid clinical depression. I felt so liberated writing down my feelings on paper and then burning the paper down (in a fireplace). Watching those words disappear somehow made my negative feelings gradually go away. I even wrote letters, because when I was depressed I was also very violent and hurt many loved ones with my words and actions. I was always too proud to apologize to someone in person, so I either wrote a letter, gave it to the person and made him/her never mention that again, or I burnt the letters down.

    This actually helped me get all those negative emotions out in the open and away from me. Maybe you could try it to? I just know that dealing with depression on my own was impossible. When I started speaking to others, things started getting better.

    1. Thank you for reading.

      I’ve heard a few people say they used to do that and it was quite relieving for them. In fact, I might try this too.

      It is always a pleasure to read your heartfelt comments.

      Giulia xxx

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