Living For Yourself: Why It’s OK to be Selfish

As I’ve struggled with self-harm for many years,  I’ve realized that when I have relapsed, it was because I had no one to go to (for the most part).  I didn’t have anyone to talk me out of it, distract me, or to just unload to and share my burdens with. This caused a vicious cycle; I’d have the urge to cut, would do it because I didn’t have anyone, feel guilty afterwards, and cut again because of the guilt and the utter loneliness that I felt.

It was like I was drowning, and I could see the surface, but something kept pulling me down and there was nothing to grab onto to prevent it.

I had an epiphany the other day: I’m really not all that alone.   Sure, I don’t have forty friends or anything, but there are still people in my life that I can trust and who know about my self-harming.  This is not a new admission. I suddenly didn’t get a few friends over-night. There have always been a few people there for me from when I started self-harming in 10th grade, til now. And in that epiphany, I realized that I didn’t have to put myself through the torturous cycle of this loneliness and despair. I have my sister, who is my best friend, two friends who know what I’m going through, acquaintances that I could talk to, and even classmates who have reached out to me when they read my blog. So I asked myself “Why didn’t I go to any one of these people when I had the urge to cut? I probably wouldn’t have done it if I had had someone there.”

It’s because I hate inconveniencing people.  I hate asking people of things. If I needed 50 cents to do laundry, I would go with smelly clothes until I could find the money myself because I hated asking someone for something, even such a miniscule amount of money.  It’s actually really bad, there have been a lot of things in my life that I had to make do without or had to find a round-about way of achieving something because I hate asking people for things. People have walked all over me throughout my life because of it, and I never told them to stop because I didn’t want to bother them.

For those who have read my previous posts, you know that I’ve been struggling with relapse recently, and as I said earlier, it was hard for me to stop because I felt like I didn’t have anyone. I would be fighting the urge, sitting on my bed crying with a utensil in my hand, scrolling through my phone contacts to see who I could call and who could just help me.

It got to a point where I realized that I hated feeling like this. I hated feeling lonely and like there wasn’t anyone who could help me or talk to me, when I clearly had people that were willing to do so.

I’m still struggling with trying to actually do this, but I’m going to give someone a call next time I have the urge to hurt myself.  I’m always worried about inconveniencing someone and don’t want to burden them with my problems, but I’m going to be selfish and put my needs first. Those who know about what I’m going through probably won’t think it’s an inconvenience, and have often said that they are willing to just listen if I need a shoulder to cry on.

So, if you’re like me, try not to stress about calling someone just to talk. If they are a good friend/family, or anyone who knows about your self-harm, they are more than willing to help you and want you to get better. They care about your well-being and won’t mind being interrupted if it means that they can help talk you out of hurting yourself. I’m going to be selfish and ask for their help, because I know that it might prevent me from doing something that is harmful to me. And if it is inconveniencing them, I will find a way to repay and thank them later for their time.  I need to put my mental health and well-being first, and I would advise anyone else to do the same. You do what you have to do to get better, and others will understand.

If you don’t have anyone you feel like you can really turn to, check out It’s a great place where you can vent or lend an ear anonymously.

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