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Self harm

Hi, I'm a surfer and i'm starting to get to the point where I'm ready to start looking for sponsors but I'm worried, i have a scar on my stomach in the shape of a love heart and i'm worried that because of that, the sponsors won't be interested and as i see surfing as what i want do as a career it's really starting to worry me, could you maybe give me some advice on what to do? thanks.
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Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for writing in to me.

It seems like you are very passionate about surfing and it is really positive that you want to turn this into a career and are thinking about what you need to do to make that happen. One of the side effects of self-harming by cutting is having scars, so it’s something potential sponsors may ask about but it’s not definite that they would.

It seems like you have two choices. The first is to be upfront with sponsors about it and about how you have moved forward and found safer ways to cope, and how that has changed you as a person.

The second would be to tell them that it’s private and it’s not related to your surfing ability and so they don’t need to know. This is something that’s very personal and it would be okay to tell them you don’t want to share this with them.

If they insist you tell them then it will be up to you to decide how important the sponsor is to you and whether you’re comfortable being open about your past.

It can be a scary thought about being honest about the reasons as to why you have scars, and unfortunately sometimes people can be judgemental. Even though it is not right for people to do this, it is about working out how you can cope so that you can help to protect yourself if this happened.

Selfharm.co.uk has some useful information about scars during the summer months that you might find useful, as well as support from other young people.

If you wanted to talk this through some more you can talk with one of our counsellors who would be happy to support you. You can call for free on 0800 1111, send an email or log on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,
Sam

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