Excited About Assignment Four – Self-Harm – Sorry (Again)

I can hardly contain myself. I’ve developed an idea for Assignment Four – Responding To A Theme. It means I get to make use of photos in a physical form. I have set the theme as self-love and self-harm. Three photos upon the theme of self-love and three on self-harm. I’m going to over stitch one photo from each theme, similar to Gerhard Richter and his over painting. I’m then going to cut each photo into 16 squares which will then be stuck into a Rubik’s cube. Self-harm and self-love are not binary concepts, they over lap and mix into each other. Playing with the cube is to explore ones own psyche and to consider how one relates to ones self (hmmm not sure of the use of the word one in this context).

This may seem “fucking mental”, my own words about what I have done. To follow my chosen theme I have self harmed. I’ve cut myself for the first time in two years. Self harm is a part of my own experience. There was a period of my life in which I self harmed every day for 8 years. Self-harming again after two years abstinence is extreme, but I’m pleased with the photos I’ve made. More than this though, I’m pleased to be exploring the concept of the relationship with self.

The concept is good, let’s see how the execution turns out.

I’m struggling to keep up with everyone’s blogs. I apologise, but I’m also aware that I must focus on my eating disorder recovery. I attend at least one self help meeting each day, and talk to others in recovery everyday. I’m recovering, I’m getting there, it’s much harder than I ever imagined. My emotions are chaotic and inconsistent. But I’m eating what I meant to, when I’m meant too.

Sending you all love and good vibes.

29 Replies to “Excited About Assignment Four – Self-Harm – Sorry (Again)”

  1. Please don’t apologize or worry on my account, Richard. I have no expectations about your visits. I’m always happy to see you but never expect it. I hope everyone else feels the same too because life has a way of sweeping us up. I’m so excited for you and this new project! Such a creative and interesting theme. ♥.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was difficult, but it was also a refreshing reminder of how far I’ve come. I hadn’t self harmed for two years – the deliberate nature of self harming for this project was a world awAy from doing it out of self hatred or a way to cope.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I felt immediately by reading this blog that you were a completely different person from the one you were when self-harm was a way to cope. I understand, because when I write about those days, I feel like I’m not only writing about another version of me but about a completely different person. You came through the fire and it changed you utterly. I feel the strength of your words I feel too that people who self-harm, like someone I love so and want to help with all my heart, will be helped because you are showing both sides. You are showing a way out – lighting the path ahead that you have taken. Thank you Richard. ♥.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thankyou so much Niki. It’s been a painful journey over many years, and I’m most certainly glad to be out of the other side of it as well. I hope the person whom you love can also find alternate ways to cope. I wish them, and you, well.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Thank you Richard. We don’t speak as much as I’d like but my heart is with her always. For my part it was substances, not self-harm. I’m still struggling with food addiction and my health has suffered. I think I might have told you about this. I’m hopeful and getting help. Your blog really inspires me. I really admire you Richard, your transparency and courage and I know this will help a lot of people. ♥.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. If I understand you correctly then I think that concept is ‘effin brilliant. (Was the current self-harm just for the project? I almost passed over that when reading…) So what are we having for dinner – you’re cooking because I don’t want to. If you cook I’ll do the washing up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t hate you for having an opinion. The honest presentation of what my self hatred was like was important, as was the visual impact.

      Whether we like it or not, self-harm is s coping mechanism. Until a self harmer can accept this it’s almost impossible to use other coping mechanisms sustainable. The Maudsley harm reduction model is the most successful, evidenced based intervention. Forcing people to stop self harming drives the behaviour underground, and it then becomes secretive, which intensifies shame. This keeps the behaviour going. Asking people to take responsibility for maintaining their own safety, and encouraging them to see how it has helped them to survives, then frees them to explore other options.

      Trying to force clients to stop self-harm is not person centred care. It’s imposing a personal judgement upon a person who has had so much “imposed” forced upon them by others. To do so is to further abuse the individual.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are brave Richard and I think this is going to be a very important body of work artistically as well as well as from a health promotion perspective. I hope it gets wide visibility. I think about the early health pioneers who infected themselves to test their theories and share their ideas. To a lesser extent this still happens (Trust me I’m a Doctor on TV)
    I look forward to seeing the finished work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am pleased that you are excited about your work. Maybe once you have completed this project you could use red paint?!! Don’t worry at all about others’ blogs. As you say, you have to manage your eating; no one can keep all the balls in the air all of the time, and you are making the right choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Respectfully, and from someone with a history of self-harm myself, it seems unwise to do self-harm simply for a photo essay, especially if it has been an issue in your past and especially if it feels exciting to do it again. We all do our own thing and I do not say that anyone should or shouldn’t do what they choose, but it seems risky to start a coping mechanism again that might take on a life of its own in unhealthy ways–best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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