Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Boyfriend doesn't know I relapsed.....

I guess I'm writing to you cause I don't k ow how to tell my boyfriend I had a relapse and self harmed. He knows I have in the past and has asked me to stop. But with tension and stress at home it caused me to go over the edge. I'm scared of what he will do but I do believe he deserves to know. The problem is I don't know how to tell him. Can you help me? Sincerely A*
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Telling someone about your self-harm can be a really difficult thing, especially when they think you’ve stopped. There’s no right or wrong way to talk to somebody. But there are ways to make it a little easier.

One of the best ways to help you feel able to talk is planning. Taking some time to think about:

  • when the best time might be
  • where would be best to say it
  • what you’d want to do afterwards if it didn't go as well as you hoped.

You don't have to tell someone something important face-to-face. Sometimes starting the conversation can feel easier when it’s by text or in a letter. You could just say “I want to tell you something but I’m not sure how” as a way of starting out and see what happens.

Whether it’s by text message or in person, thinking about what you’d want to do next can really build your confidence. We have some really creative ways to distract yourself if you’re feeling stuck. We have some great games and videos to take your mind off of things.

People can start self-harming for all different kinds of reasons. You’ve not done anything wrong by having a hard time and starting again. Remember, though, that you don’t have to go through it alone. It's actually quite common and normal for someone to relapse when they are trying to give something up. One day you’ll have your last relapse before being able to stop completely. Maybe this is your last one.

When you’re scared about someone’s reactions, think about what they might be like in a month. Everyone is human and that means that sometimes their initial reactions might not be very good. Even though people might not know what to say at first that doesn’t mean they won’t be there in the future. Letting someone support you can help you to realise that you don’t have to be alone.

Trying to explain self-harm when you don’t have the words isn’t easy. RecoverYourLife has a really good page just for parents and friends. Having a link to send to someone can be a really good way to explain what you’re going through.

Talking to a counsellor at ChildLine can be a really good way to get support when you’re hurting yourself. They won’t judge you or tell you what to do, but they will give you a space that you can talk about anything that might be happening.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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