The Importance of The Butterfly Project

Almost six years ago, I fought the hardest battle of my life. I was fighting against myself. I’m not the only one who has fought this battle and won though. According to the Teen Rehab Center, 17% of college students reported that they self-harmed at least once in 2016. Since self-harm is extremely private, this statistic can be assumed to be higher because these are only the students who admitted to self-injurious behaviors.

 

So many people don’t understand why I’m so open to admitting about my past but, as a survivor, I feel as if it is my duty to teach others the early warning signs, helpline numbers, and even healthy coping skills. I'm not ashamed of my past - without my past I would not be who I am today.

Quitting was definitely the hardest thing in my life. I also won’t sugar coat anything. As soon as you quit, the pain will not immediately go away and no one will forget immediately. I will, however, say that the fight and the struggle is completely worth it in the end. I won the battle against self harm three years ago on July 26th - it was a three year fight. I didn't fight alone, though, and it’s important that you don’t either. Make sure you create safety nets and surround yourself with loving people.

Fighting against self harm doesn’t take physical weapons. The weapons of choice for this type of battle include coping skills and people who love you. Coping skills are extremely helpful and important when it comes to this fight. There are hundreds of different coping skills out there but the thing about them is that you have to try them out (just like trying on shoes) to see which ones are comfortable for you and which ones seem to actually help you. Coping skills are not a one size fits all type of deal. The coping skill that worked best for me is called The Butterfly Project. This literally saved my life. This coping skill is super easy and creative. It’s important to note that this skill is not a fix-all; instead, it is used to resist the urges.

 

If you know someone who is fighting this battle, try to teach them about The Butterfly Project, and maybe even draw a butterfly on yourself to show your support. Love them but don't act like you're walking on glass around them. Support them but be careful to not act as their therapist. There should be a fine line between friendship and therapy. If you are not trained in this type of help, do not give medical advice. Some other ways to help them include making sure they know they are loved, help them discover coping skills, and stay by their side through the rough patches. People like to pretend they are perfectly fine but, if you look harder, they are barely keeping themselves on two feet.

There’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about for getting the help you need. By admitting you need help and seeking that help out shows that you are a warrior. You can fight against yourself and win. Remember, somebody loves you and if you believe no one does: I love you and I have faith that you can fight and win. You can do this!

Again, this fight is not going to be easy but it WILL be worth it in the end. You are loved. You are strong. You are a warrior!

 

Millersville University Counseling Center website

Pennyslvania Hotlines:

1-800-SUICIDE       (1-800-784-2433)

1-800-273-TALK      (8255)                                        

 1-800-334-HELP    (1-800-334-4357)

Not from PA? Hotlines for other states: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html

Also check out:

TWLOHA

Students Against Depression

*All images courtesy of Pinterest