bITS 'N CHUNKS
Content warning: As with all of my menhera posts, this post will be discussing self-harm, rituals, and depression at length. Therefore, most of it will be under Mr. Read More.
That being said, I think these days we all have our own image of what self-care is or even what it should be.
When I was younger, self-care was code for harm reduction amongst cutters/burners/anyone that hurt themselves as a therapeutic exercise.
It seems a little weird to think of the practice of intensive skincare and movies on Lifetime as part of the world of... well, the exact opposite, but it makes a little sense if you follow the train of thought. That thought being that most people that self-harm are not necessarily trying to kill themselves. The reasons are as varied as there are people in the world, but a lot of the ones you see are: to feel, to express their pain, and yes even sometimes for a certain kind of attention. No, cutting is not an attention-seeking habit. I assume I don't need to tell you that.
I fell in the former category -- I needed to feel something besides pain. When people noticed the scars on my wrists or arms or when I took too many aspirin, I felt loved and taken care of because people were worried about me. After a while, though, there wasn't as much. I was increasingly hiding myself away because I was already acutely aware that this was bad and wrong but more people were deriding me as an attention seeking hound. And I was ashamed because to some extent, yeah, I was.
My only community was online so it was there that I found out about harm reduction. You're probably more familiar with harm reduction referring to needle exchange programs and other such strategies to reduce the negative side effects of drugs and you SHOULD but that extended into other acts of self-injury as well. But learning about self-injury harm reduction made me feel good because it acknowledged and distantly approved my behavior as valid and taught me how to take care of myself. My favorite part became the part where I would dress my fresh wounds with peroxide, alcohol, and Neosporin and neatly placed bandaids on taught. I was loving myself. I wasn't ashamed anymore. I wasn't at risk for infection. I kept everything meticulously clean and nearby. It was almost normal.
I'm not saying self-reduction is bad for people that self-injure, it can actually be kind of good because my problem was that I couldn't just up and stop because that was my coping mechanism. I do think it helped me slowly over time get over it. But for my menhera outfit this go around, I wanted to push the medical theme and incorporate a little more of that. My menhera accessory collection isn't quite where I want it to be but hopefully after this convention I'll be purchasing more wearables.
For now, I bought a box of fancy bandaids. Fortunately, kawaii bandaids aren't that hard to find nor are they that weird because yes, at some point bandaids were a fashion statement and they still are in a lot of Harajuku fashions. And it brings me back to that darkly nostalgic time of being alone and dressing my arms up in the alleged skintone sheets and bemoaning the fact that they were so obvious. Now, they're sparkly! Congrats, 13-year-old me.
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...