The week in words #9

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So, March had a bit of a wet start. The UK was visited by the Beast from the East this week, causing chaos all over the country. I was one of the lucky Londoners who only had to worry about their public transport to work, which I think is fine given that others in the country found themselves stranded on motorways or without electricity.

In my case, the cold ate through the brick wall of my house and since last night I have been watching a wet patch spread over my ceiling, praying the water won't seep through. A few days ago I had to walk through the snow to work, and since my shoes are still relatively new, I'm once again out of half-marathon training with foot pain.

It's not all bad. I saw some friends, saw some friends perform in a play, found a lovely new podcast to listen to, and really got to enjoy the snow a couple of times. I love the way falling snow swallows sound, so being able to walk through these little pockets of near-silence in noisy London was downright magical.

This week, on 1st March, was Self Injury Awareness Day. I'd meant to write something about it, but couldn't get my thoughts in order in time. Rowan Hisayo Buchanan did, and her take on it is worth a read. Self-harm isn't something that's easy to talk openly about; it's a very violent coping mechanism that many don't understand, and I've often found reactions to be more curious than compassionate: people seem way more interested in the how than the why.

Self injury is a coping mechanism just like drinking, smoking, loud music, running or yoga. It's not a good or healthy one, but in the moment it's used, it fulfils a function. It's a symptom, not the problem itself. Buchanan's piece explains this in further detail, so I won't repeat it. But her conclusion is worth repeating: look for the why. Ask why, and listen.

Always listen.