Paraphernalia&Oddments

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Anonymous asked: I have a friend struggling with self-harm & she's been relapsing so much lately but I can't do much to help she's 10 thousand miles away from me I don't know what to do I feel so lost I don't want to lose her what should I do i

writingsforwinter:

(First off, does she have a counselor or mental health professional to talk to? Even some hotlines to call? If not, maybe gently suggest some of these options for her.)

I think the most crucial thing to do in this situation right away is to tell your friend that you love her. Maybe you think this might not make even a small difference because you are not one of her parents or guardians or immediate relatives, but letting someone who is in such great pain know that they are loved can actually be incredibly healing. It may only be a temporary healing, but that is better than no healing at all.

And honestly, telling her not to self-harm is not going to solve the problem or even begin to solve it. Telling her that you wish she wouldn’t hurt herself- instead of outright demanding that she stop this habit that is familiar to her and difficult to drop- is more beneficial. That way she knows you care and hope that she won’t continue to cause harm to her body, but also knows that you are not someone who is going to boss her around, tell her what to do, or ignore her side of the story. That can help develop more trust between you two.

Also, tell her the way she’s feeling won’t last forever. It will not always hurt like this. Tell her that. Even use some of your own examples- do not tell her that you “understand exactly what she is going through.” Instead give her an example of a time when you felt pain or you felt bad and thought it would never end, but how it eventually did. Make sure you let her know that her pain is only temporary, even though it may feel so heavy.

Giving her a list of reasons to live or a list of alternatives to self-harm is also a good option- or even a list of resources she can go to, whether they are crisis hotlines, counselors, even support networks online. That way she has immediate options to go to when feeling so bad that she wants to hurt herself.

Sending her some sort of care package or “survival package” for the times when she’s feeling the worst is also another idea. So even though she’s 10 thousand miles away, she still has a piece of you with her. It could be full of things to distract her from thoughts of self-harm, and things that comfort her, like candles, lotion, her favorite book, handwritten notes or poems, trinkets, jewelry, coupons for ice cream, photos of cute puppies, inspirational quotes, you name it.

And lastly- tell her what you just told me. That you don’t want to lose her, and she is valuable, and no one else wants to lose her either.

Give her love, as much love as you can. Just do your best. And never blame yourself for whatever happens next.

P.S. This poem might help, if you’d like to send it to her.

for razorblade lovers

Let her know that every day is a fresh start. That skin heals below the surface before the top, so while the damage may be visible the next day, her body has done more than she realizes to help her move on. Let her know that I, and every other person that reads your ask , reblog or no, has her in our thoughts.
And anon should know that they’ve helped more than their friend. When people with vices see others trying to support those they care about, we remember all the work that our own loved ones committed to us. Whether it was ten days, ten months, or ten years ago, everyone is at risk of relapse. Everyone needs to see that their self-harm will never not hurt anyone but themselves.

26,756 notes

Forgive. Forget. Fake it. Chin up. Wear lipstick, make lists, make sure your voicemail isn’t full. Mix protein shakes, send timely thank you notes, sip drinks more slowly, stare at adults’ eyebrows, smile without dimples, develop perfect posture. Be gracious, be kind, eliminate self-pity. Look in the mirror and shift your internal monologue from ‘How do I look?’ to ‘This is my face,’ from ‘What the hell am I doing?’ to ‘This is my life.’ Capitalize your emails, read the news, walk briskly, stay focused, and never, ever let on that you are somewhat lost and sometimes lonely and so completely confused (and would someone please just let me know what it is I’m supposed to do next, where exactly I’m supposed to go–). Just keep going. Go, and do not stop.
A Checklist for the Age 19 (Jennifer Schaffer)

(Source: wordsthat-speak, via highonsin)

1,939 notes

2003:
My palms are galaxies.

In elementary school, we used to play this game where we thought that the length of a crease in our palm could tell us how long we’d live. And Roxanne said that my measurement was 83 years, and I had nothing to fear; somehow we were fortunetellers at age nine, and we had the stars aligned in our favor, acting saviors for each other innocently breathing whittled prayers of a soft future.

My nails are small.

Bitten down from the divorce, and resting jagged in their beds kind of like my breathing under the sheets the nights they used to fight.

I wasn’t the kid that blindly trusted anything; they said they loved each other and I never took I love you’s for granted, I never take I love you’s for granted, I guess you could say I was raised with a lot of fight in me.

In 2009:
I adopted a scar under my right ring finger.

My aunt gave me a purity ring on my birthday and the next day I jumped off a ten-foot chain-link fence, and forgot to take the ring with me so it hung me up before it let me down. We laugh about it now, I promise to not let a boy penetrate my life as I explain how his lips would never be soft enough to match mine, and how we all missed all the signs:

bruised knuckles and sore joints from training in the art of self-defense, scarred wrists and skateboarding dislocations, resilient bones from holding myself together all this time.

My hands, they hold storylines.
Worn and calloused, carrying every expectation like a balancing act, sweating and slippery until each one of them dropped. They dropped, and in 2012 I was diagnosed with depression, and life placed a pill on my skin instead, and no one said that it was going to be this hard, and no one taught a tired soul that if you grip a shard loosely then it doesn’t bleed so much, no one said that it was okay to not be okay, so I said nothing—

And I write.

I write jaded promises for a future that is nothing if not soft.
I write to live at least 83 years because I’ve made it past eighteen and there’s so much I haven’t seen; because I have dreams, and hopes, and I’ve never been kissed in a rainstorm or worn an achievement on my arm like it was a medal of my character, because

the date and year has yet to come when this girl, she will come along and she will steal my breath away and give it back in an intoxicating whisper that she loves me; and my God, when it does, I swear I will do everything in my power to clench my fists and believe her.

I will write about each facet of her beauty that she can’t see in her own reflection. About how I wish I could inject her touch into my skin like ink to outline every crease as a plot line to a poem that’s yet to unfold in her name. That her name sets syllables on my tongue that have never tasted so sweet, and how my pallet could get used to it forever. I’ll use my fingers to trace her skin, hold her close and curl within, sighing to the rhymthic undertone of how my name sounds leaving her mouth before dawn. When I wake, I’ll write our love out in pen, therein preserving heaven by right hand, and implore that somehow a moment’s permanence might just withstand.

December 15th, 2013:
I will write until the time runs out,
until my grip gives out. I will live, and I
will fight, and I will love.

I will always use both of my hands.

"Hands," -Valentina Thompson (via theseoverusedwords)

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3,684 notes

mythandrists:

1. Anyone who says “write what you know” either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or doesn’t know how to form a sentence. Know what you write. Do your research, but don’t think that just because you haven’t done your research yet doesn’t mean you’re not qualified to write about whatever you want. Don’t pigeonhole yourself. Pigeonholing sounds like a bad sex position, anyway.
2. Write badly. Write terribly, obnoxiously, fearlessly, write complete garbage, write melodrama, write too many details and extra scenes you’re going to have to cut later. Here’s a secret: Everyone’s first draft is shit. Yes, even Kerouac - have you read On the Road? Give yourself permission to suck. Write badly on purpose, but write badly in the way only you can write badly. Revision is for final drafts, not first drafts.
3. Semicolons are beautiful, but only if you actually know how to use them. Learn how to use them. Then use them. Don’t let your creative writing professor tell your that your poetry looks like an essay when you use actual punctuation; your creative writing professor is not you. Your creative writing professor doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
4. Except that your creative writing professor does know what he’s talking about. Listen to him. Learn from him. Write down all his advice in your notebook, but when it comes time to start writing - close the notebook.
5. Write every day.
6. But if you don’t write every day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t beat yourself up, period. Self-loathing is antithetical to writing, unless you’re Gerard Manley Hopkins, but trust me, you don’t want to live the way Hopkins lived.
7. Stop thinking so damn much. Blare the music when you write; sit in a crowded coffee shop; drink; let yourself go. The first draft doesn’t want to be constrained; the first draft wants to be put on the page. The first draft wants a word count, not a rubric.
8. You’re always allowed to slam the door on someone who’s distracting you from your writing. Unless that person is a tax collector or your mother. Never slam a door on your mother unless she’s a drunk.
9. Everything has been done before. Get over it.
10. Love what you do. If you burn out, if you don’t love it anymore, either quit or find a way to love it again. Don’t do it for anyone else - no one’s paying you to be a writer. Pay yourself. Pay yourself in interesting characters and immersive plots and worlds you wish you could play around in. Give your writing to yourself. Treat it like a gift from you to you, because if you don’t love your final draft, no one else will, either.

mythandrists:

1. Anyone who says “write what you know” either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or doesn’t know how to form a sentence. Know what you write. Do your research, but don’t think that just because you haven’t done your research yet doesn’t mean you’re not qualified to write about whatever you want. Don’t pigeonhole yourself. Pigeonholing sounds like a bad sex position, anyway.

2. Write badly. Write terribly, obnoxiously, fearlessly, write complete garbage, write melodrama, write too many details and extra scenes you’re going to have to cut later. Here’s a secret: Everyone’s first draft is shit. Yes, even Kerouac - have you read On the Road? Give yourself permission to suck. Write badly on purpose, but write badly in the way only you can write badly. Revision is for final drafts, not first drafts.

3. Semicolons are beautiful, but only if you actually know how to use them. Learn how to use them. Then use them. Don’t let your creative writing professor tell your that your poetry looks like an essay when you use actual punctuation; your creative writing professor is not you. Your creative writing professor doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

4. Except that your creative writing professor does know what he’s talking about. Listen to him. Learn from him. Write down all his advice in your notebook, but when it comes time to start writing - close the notebook.

5. Write every day.

6. But if you don’t write every day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t beat yourself up, period. Self-loathing is antithetical to writing, unless you’re Gerard Manley Hopkins, but trust me, you don’t want to live the way Hopkins lived.

7. Stop thinking so damn much. Blare the music when you write; sit in a crowded coffee shop; drink; let yourself go. The first draft doesn’t want to be constrained; the first draft wants to be put on the page. The first draft wants a word count, not a rubric.

8. You’re always allowed to slam the door on someone who’s distracting you from your writing. Unless that person is a tax collector or your mother. Never slam a door on your mother unless she’s a drunk.

9. Everything has been done before. Get over it.

10. Love what you do. If you burn out, if you don’t love it anymore, either quit or find a way to love it again. Don’t do it for anyone else - no one’s paying you to be a writer. Pay yourself. Pay yourself in interesting characters and immersive plots and worlds you wish you could play around in. Give your writing to yourself. Treat it like a gift from you to you, because if you don’t love your final draft, no one else will, either.

(via refusepropaganda)