Today (March 1st) is self-injury awareness day, a day for us to recognise the threat that self-harming poses to people across the world. However, it is also a day to help raise awareness and understand that there is always a way out.
Speaking to coach Sam Evans who specialises in emotional intelligence, she lifted the lid on her career helping women struggling, as well as her own experiences with self-harming and what kind of journey she embarked on for a number of years.
“I am a self-empowered specialist, I work with women entrepreneurs and help them diminish their self-sabotaging behaviours and to access intelligence by changing their beliefs, habits and behaviours,” said Sam Evans.
Her current career came about in odd circumstances, as a matter of fact, Evans was not even planning on being in the United Kingdom. “I was actually planning to leave the country, I was going to move to Canada.”
From there Evans looked into the prospect of teaching but decided not to go down that route. Instead, she was introduced to the work of Maria Montessori, who looked into the brains of children. Evans then spent a few years working with children.
Evans then found herself in the world of network marketing, which opened more doors to the world of mindset. It was at this point, Evans realised she had a lot of stuff she needed to work on. “I then realised that I had a lot of stuff I had to work on and when you start working for yourself you do become obsessed with money, very systemic behaviour.”
During this time, Evans began to experience more emotions and even suffered postnatal depression, something she was not aware of. However, it was through her own experiences she found the passion to help others. “I found a passion for helping people to be quite positive and everyone kept coming to me about the mind and I thought maybe I’ll give coaching a go!”
Evans has been able to reflect on her own experiences of self-harming which has helped her become an expert in her field. Her journey was a long one that went on for a number of years until she overcame her struggles.
“I actually wanted to be taken back when I was seven years old, I had mental, physical, emotional and sexual abuse in my life for the first nine years.” As she moved into her teenage years, her behaviour began to get worse, causing more self-harm. “Between 16 and 17, I started to take tablets, I just had enough. When I was about 18/19 I’d cut my wrists.”
Looking back now, Evans admitted that she questioned why she was self-harming when she was cutting her wrists and acknowledges that it was a cry for attention, that she just wanted help.
As Evans’s life progressed into her 20s and then 30s, she admitted to living a “toxic” lifestyle. “I would try to take my own life, I’d try to strangle myself, I’d have these outbursts and go from nought to 100, sometimes I would pass out when I’d get angry.”
Now with four years of experience in her field helping others, Evans path to improvement was discovered upon embarking on a new career.
Mental health and wellbeing coach Georgina Lynch, who also experienced her own struggles, said her struggles stemmed from tension. “Mine was promiscuity, I would try to seek that feel-good factor, using my body as a way to release tension,” said Georgina Lynch.
Talking about students specifically, self-harming is usually caused by a fear of failure for students, who can face challenging times during their studies at university. “It’s usually stress-related and the fear of failure. It’s just going to push them to their limit and in order to cope they call upon self-harming behaviours, alcohol, drugs, promiscuity etc.”