Coping with Bereavement and Self-Harm
Hello, I’m Michael – if you’ve attended any courses at the Mirfield Recovery & Wellbeing College then you’ve probably met me because I’ve been on most of them myself!
I started coming to the College to help me with my mental health after losing both my parents. I found my bereavements very hard to cope with, and I began to cut myself. Doing this helps to release some of my emotional pain, but I know it worries my family and I wish I didn’t feel the need to do it. My GP looks after me and takes care of the cuts, and I’m getting help from a support worker at a learning disabilities centre because I also struggle with reading and writing. I find it helpful to talk about how I’m feeling with her, but I don’t like talking about it with my family in case I worry them.
Coming to the Recovery College has made me feel better about myself. I’ve been on lots of courses, my favourites are Quiet the Mind, which teaches meditation techniques, and the Golden Age of Hollywood, which is fun and I enjoy learning about the old films. I’ve met lots of different people on the courses I’ve attended and I think this has helped my confidence to grow.
I see myself as being on a recovery journey. One of my goals is to stop cutting myself, which feels like a big challenge, but I have stopped once before, and I believe I can stop again, with the support I’m getting from family, friends and others, as well as everything I’m learning at the College. I don’t feel like myself when I’m self-harming, and I want to be myself again!
If you’ve been affected by the issues in Michael’s story, support is available:
Battle Scars charity: www.battle-scars-self-harm.org.uk/
NHS contacts for self-harm: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/feelings-symptoms-behaviours/behaviours/self-harm/getting-help/
Cruse bereavement support charity: www.cruse.org.uk/get-support/
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