Things we do to hurt ourselves…

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

It’s a funny thing is self-harm, it shows up in so many ways… and they’re not always obvious

We eat beyond our appetite and overindulge in foods we don’t particularly want or enjoy.

We sit still for too long and choose not to exercise or take care of our physical body, or our mind.

But I know now, some of these things are a subconscious way of “protecting ourselves”

Some days we don’t care to bathe, brush our hair, or even our teeth.

They’re the days we know our mental state needs more attention.

We stay up late binge-watching TV shows we’re not interested in (thanks Netflix)

We scroll mindlessly, and endlessly through the internet, not particularly reading, or paying attention, but we’re there nonetheless, being consumed. Occasionally clicking on droll content that means nothing to us, and doesn’t interest us. It’s just a different page to look at.

We can lose ourselves for days.

It’s so easy when the world is designed so intensely to draw your attention.

We have a list of a million things that need to be done and a million more of the best ways to do them, and yet we sit often and choose to do nothing.

We avoid the things that need our attention the most and fixate on the things that we cannot easily fix, filling our time with nothing so that we don’t have the chance to do the things that we know we can.

We put off doing the simple things, and overanalyse the bigger things.

We lock ourselves in and hide away, refusing to engage with the outside world when we’re most craving a connection.

We force ourselves through doing the same thing on repeat, even though we despise the tedium.

We don’t allow ourselves to do the things we want, or experience the joy that comes from them, for fear that we might like them too much, and not feel the same wonder about them once it’s over.

We tell ourselves we can’t do the things we want before the things we think we have to, yet don’t want to, and therefore we do nothing.

We don’t drink enough water.

We don’t stretch.

We have terrible posture and stare at screens too much with poor lighting.

We read too much of the “self-help” world, even though we don’t care for most of it, and think the woo-woo is farfetched and the people need to shove their chakras where the sun doesn’t shine so they can align in their retrograde or whatever.

We allow people, and places and history to dictate our actions and our own perception of our worth.

We push ourselves forward without giving ourselves time or space to fully rest in the way that we need to.

We never truly take time for ourselves.

We do things we don’t want to, knowing that it won’t benefit us in the long run.

We live to the expectation of others, both good and bad, and hate both sides equally.

We hold ourselves back every day.

We spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t want, in places we don’t need to be.

We don’t live in accordance with our values or work towards the things that we say that we want.

We leave too much to chance.

We rely on hope.

We walk under ladders, and on cracks in the pavement.

We live every day in a place we don’t want to be.

We don’t dance to the music, or read of faeries in the woods.

We keep telling ourselves that we need to grow up.

We stop our laughter.

We kill our joy.

We’re convinced we’re too old to start, yet too young to give up.

We hold ourselves in limbo, too afraid to move on, because “better the devil you know” keeps you safer than running into the wild, where your dreams could be made, but you’re stomping new ground.

We listen to the people who want to keep us safe. Who help us stay small… the ones who live in their fear, who stay within the lines, and have long since stopped daring to dream that there’s something more out there, or that a different way is possible.

We also listen to the ones who are unable to dream in the same way as us. We cannot diminish the needs of others. Some just want to get by, living an easy life, and others want to rise above and live a life of richness and luxury. Neither way is the wrong way, and neither way is better.

For each lifestyle, and for every person, there are things that need to be done and sacrifices to be made.

And yet so many of us are walking around as the walking wounded.

It’s a shame we can’t see the pain we inflict on ourselves like a bruise on the skin

Originally published at https://debbiebradley.co.uk on September 9, 2021.

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Debbie Bradley

Debbie Bradley

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