There is such a terrible stigma around self-injury, because so many people do not understand it – but I do, and there are a lot of us who do. You are not alone. I began engaging in self-injury when I was 15 years-old. I wanted to stop the emotional pain, and the physical pain was not only a distraction, but it provided me with immediate relief. However, the relief was only temporary and did not allow me to deal with my problems in an effective manner. I continued to harm myself for 9 more years as a way of coping, and finally got the help I needed years later. I am happy to say that I have not harmed myself in over 5 years, and can’t even imagine ever thinking of doing so again. There is always hope, for every single one of us, and we can overcome this together!