Two days ago, (July 11th) I was kindly invited to go on a trip with Age UK. They planned a walk through Teesdale Forest and along to the incredible High Force and Low Force waterfalls with a group of around thirty avid walkers and explorers.
A couple of things happened while we were there that inspired this post; the first was when one of the staff pointed to one of my recent, red, keloid, self-harm scars and said “what’ve you been doing? Did you scratch yourself on a tree?” I get that the scars were quite red and perhaps at a glance they appeared to be fresh, sore, scratches but never the less, I was put in an awkward position. When I recently cut my hand and needed stitches I had to tell a lot of lies to a lot of people who asked how I’d done it and I think I was just tired and – to be honest – a little bit ashamed to lie again. I mean I’m one of the people promoting that we talk more about mental health, yet I still resort to lies around my self-harm. So, I replied with “oh! I have mental health problems.” The lady quickly apologised and changed the subject – which I was grateful for.