This Teen Decided To Re-Create A Painting On Her Leg Instead Of Self-Harming

    "No matter how bad everything may be, it's not worth physically hurting yourself," Amelia Hall told BuzzFeed News.

    Amelia Hall, an 18-year-old from Essex studying at the University of Manchester, has self-harmed and struggled with depression for several years.

    Amelia Hall

    Last week, after a particularly bad day when she felt like self-harming, she decided instead to re-create the painting "Café Terrace at Night" by Vincent Van Gogh – one of her favourite artists – on her leg.

    Hall told BuzzFeed News she felt like she "was creating something I could be proud of".

    Amelia Hall

    She said that it has taken her some time "to learn that no matter how bad everything may be, it's not worth physically hurting yourself".

    "For me in that moment, I tried to turn my body – something I don't consider to be beautiful – into a canvas," she said.

    Amelia Hall

    "For this reason, it wasn't a particularly difficult decision," she said.

    However, she added that she had contemplated giving up on the painting part-way during the three hours spent on it.

    "I remember sitting there halfway through wanting to wash it all off and just go back to bed," she said. "But I'm so glad I kept working on it because I have something wonderful to show from a particularly bad day, instead of just self-harm marks."

    "I didn't exactly feel better when it was finished," she said. "It didn't make the depression go away – it was never going to do that."

    Amelia Hall

    "But it felt like I'd been able to channel some of my negative feelings into my art, and it felt wonderful to look at it and know that I'd channelled my negative emotions into doing some creative instead of destructive."

    Amelia Hall

    She said she absolutely did not expect her painting to receive so many likes, and said the response had been amazing.

    "Everyone has been so supportive and wonderful," Hall said. "Even strangers over Twitter have messaged me saying they're proud of me and that they think it's a lovely idea."

    If you are feeling at risk of self-harm or if you are worried about someone else call the Samaritans: 116 123 (UK) / 116 123 (ROI)

    If you’re in the United States you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

    Kassy Cho is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Kassy Cho at kassy.cho@buzzfeed.com.

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