Self Harm and Creativity

As some people may know, as well as the administrator for Harmless, I am also a spoken word poet. I believe that recovery can be a huge part of recovery for those who self harm, at least it was for me, and I know for many of the people I meet when performing and teaching.

This year Harmless asked me to share some of my poetry at our annual celebration event which I agreed to without question. The night was amazing to be a part of and it meant so much for me to be able to do what I loved, and what I believe saved my life, for an organisation that helps so may others on the road to recovery.

Here is one of the pieces I performed on the night…


It was harmless –

I was tattooing imprints,

I could stop any time.


Time wasted

distorting deceit from my lips

but the words started to heal

draping dressings around feelings.


So I stepping stoned these letters,

bridged sentences over the tunnel

to the other side


another side.

It was lighter,


My pen, a sonic screwdriver

torching hope into my world.


The recovery took longer.


It’s not like they tell you –

it’s no finger snap

snapping minds back into place.

It’s not as simple as

putting a smile back on your face.


It takes a hook

a drive

a vehicle cargoing

a hand, an ear, a pen

a voice.


A voice;

for me it was a voice;

I declared harm less before I felt it,

before I heard it,

before I believed it.


Before I believed in myself.

Schooled myself

learning self appreciation.

Now appreciation’s turned to celebration,



‘cause I was baby stepping stages for ages –

I was weeping on pages

now I’m spitting on stages

and I’m not saying I’m recovered forever

but I know where to turn when there’s a little bad weather


‘cause I found my voice.

Found an outlet

letting emotions flow,

written down and I spoke up.

Spoke of the times I cried

and most importantly why.


I’m not saying I’m recovered forever

but I know where to turn –

turned my life around

and believed in myself –

now I look in the mirror when I need some help.


Tracing my reflection on glass,

tattooing new imprints –

hope sketched on my arm

like inspiration instead of harm.


Hayley Green (Harmless Administrator)

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