Birthdays, Self-Harm and Embracing Another Year

September 16, 2014 Jennifer Aline Graham

Everyone has a birthday. However, not everyone makes it to his or her second or 14th or 35th birthday. Since life is filled with unexplainable demons, some people are not always promised another birthday. Loved ones are diagnosed with cancer all too often and innocent people are murdered every day.

Life throws challenges at us every single day. Sometimes, we have the ability to decide which path to choose and, as we know, some of us don’t always make the safest decision. Other people aren’t able to always make those choices when hit with life-threatening circumstances.

Did those people know they wouldn’t be able to blow out the candle on their birthday cake the following year? Did they think they would never be able to hold another construction paper card from their child again?

We don't always appreciate how lucky we are to make it to another birthday and for those struggling with self-harm, it is important to realize that luck.

Mental illness makes us sometimes forget how important the little things are in our lives. We forget these things because the disease tends to take over all other thoughts – especially the heartwarming ones. When those who self-harm feel the urge to self-injure , positive thoughts are very difficult to find when thousands of negative ones are swarming their brain. The mere idea of cutting their skin with too much force so that they never celebrate another birthday is not typically something they think about.

However, it is important to remember that other people aren’t always granted the chance to make another birthday wish.

Embrace Every Year – Not Everyone Has that Chance

Being that I can now officially say I am in my mid-to-late twenties, I realize how lucky I am to have made it this far. I have overcome many obstacles during my 26 years that some people are not able to conquer when the same barriers are thrown at them. Over the years, I was not always able to appreciate my being a childhood cancer survivor as well as surviving suicide attempts. These topics were never easy for me to discuss and, outside of this blog, I rarely speak about my battle with self-harm and suicide.

However, when you look at your struggles from the perspective of living to “blow out another candle,” you realize how lucky you are to have made it as far as you have.

With it recently being Suicide Prevention Week, we all need to remember that many people take their own lives because of how frightening their world was living with a mental illness. Being that so many of us struggle with similar demons, we need to find ways to overcome those issues. When we are on a safe path, we are able to help others in similar situations walk towards a safe path. When we find ways to embrace our own lives, we can see how important it is to appreciate the lives of others. You never know when a life-threatening disease is going to pop up in someone’s life or when a freak accident is going to occur. Don’t let situations like that be the eye-opening experience you need to change.

Find your strength, sculpt that strength and build it into your bones. Once it’s there, make sure it stays.

You can also find Jennifer Aline Graham on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and her website is here. Find out more about Noon through

APA Reference
Aline, J. (2014, September 16). Birthdays, Self-Harm and Embracing Another Year, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 20 from

Author: Jennifer Aline Graham

January, 17 2024 at 11:51 pm

Please reach out if your able my email is and I really need to talk.

bill millwood
September, 17 2014 at 1:32 pm

I'm 51 and going through stuff and hence reading your blog. Bt it took me away from me and my problems. It's been 15 yrs and I still hurt from the loss of my little sister.
She was beautiful, smart and lit up a room. Yet alcohol, drugs and self abuse took her at 30.
What I learned is this: Young women need to hear that they are strong (as well as smart and beautiful), If you see a loved one only 1% of the time and its disturbing then you must multipy it by 100 in your mind (and then act accordingly) and lastly, sometimes people cannot help themselves (sure it lets you off the hook by saying I can't help you unless you try to help yourself..problem is sometimes you're so low, so bad, you can't..and she couldn't..I know that now)
I found a letter from a friend of her's while settling her estate, It said "Hang in there, it'll get better".. well I hate that phrase, because it killed her. Rather say, "Do what you have to do!"

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