Archive for the ‘self injury’ Category

I witnessed one of the most scary, yet intriguing trends being brought up in adolescent America while I was in high school. I wasn’t just a witness to it, I was also hugely involved in it. It had the ability to tear friendships apart, to break the hearts of parents and make them wonder if they weren’t good enough while raising they’re child, to manipulate the person involved into thinking that everyone around them was the enemy and all they wanted was to report them to the school psychologist. The trend, was cutting.

Freshman year is a confusing time for anyone no doubt. Friendships from middle school sometime come to an abrupt end, new friends come into your life and life itself takes on a whole new meaning within you. It’s the year  most of us spent trying to understand ourselves better. Freshman year was also the year I saw cutting play a bigger role in our society than I ever did before.

Cutting shouldn’t be a trend. I remember knowing people who cut themselves because they thought it was cool and they wanted to fit in. Others of us did it because it was a way of escape from the mess going on inside our heads. Either way, it was becoming something bigger than we thought it ever could be. As it was having its way in my life, I saw what it was doing to others as well.

Once people found out about it, you became part of the gossip train. Some people thrived on that attention. They didn’t want that specific kind of attention, but having people know who they were gave them some sort of thrill. Those who were cutting for deeper reasons, the attention was a nightmare. Their one thing they had that they could control was now exposed to the world. The one secret they wanted to keep was out.

Either way, I saw cutting growing and growing into our society. It was once a well kept secret that nobody wanted to talk about, and soon it was all some people could talk about.

Cutting isn’t cool. Cutting is a serious problem. Cutting shouldn’t be the thing to be doing. Cutting can be dangerous. Either way you look at it, no matter what the intentions of the cutter are for doing it, they need help. Yes even those who wanted the attention; there’s still something there that needs to be exposed.

Cutting shouldn’t be an epidemic.

“If you struggle with self-injury, you are not “a cutter”. You are a person. You are not only your pain. You are not only wounds and scars. You are also better things. You are possibility and promise, hope and healing, daydreams, favorite books and favorite songs. You are the people that you love and the people who love you. You are hope and change and things worth fighting for. This is all your story and your story isn’t over.”– Jaime Tworkowski.

 

I found this quote not too long ago, and it has stuck with me. I love how Jaime puts those words together, to make something powerful; something so meaningful and important to someone who is suffering. We have a habit of sticking the label of “cutter” on someone whom we know is dealing with self injury, and it’s wrong. People make them out to be their flaw and their flaw becomes the only thing people see. They can’t get past the stigma, so whatever issue they are struggling with at that time is now made their identity.

Oh there’s “so and so” the cutter
Oh isn’t that______, the addict?
Oh I know them, they’re the suicidal one right?

I know it’s a name association process, or whatever the proper term is, but we shouldn’t be associating peoples personal struggles with who they are. Fact is, the persons struggle is never who they are. Truth? If you know someone, and have to place that “label” after their name, you don’t really care about them as deep as you might think, and chances are you don’t know them even half as well as you might think you do. I find it shallow actually. In the past I too have associated people with things I had heard about them, but now if I do hear something about them, before I even know them too, I make an effort to know them better. I don’t care who you are, you don’t deserve a label over you.

And if you are going through something that’s painful, Jaime T said it right. You are hope and change. Things don’t have to stay the way they are at this very moment. Believe in yourself, even when it’s most difficult to. If you can muster up even just a little faith in yourself that things will change, that the sun will once again shine even just a ray of light into your world; you will see that change, and that change is possible. I’m a psychology fan, and I remember learning, that smiling releases endorphins into your body, the chemicals that make you cheery; they’re also called the “feel good chemicals”. So when you’re down and out, just smile. I know that sounds lame, but it does work; if you want to be happy and have hope, you can.

this is all YOUR story, and your story ISN’T OVER

3 Weeks Later.

Posted: January 5, 2010 in Life, overcoming, self injury

I was looking at my calendar this morning when I realized something. I don’t really focus on this sort of thing any more, I figure if I keep track of the days, it’ll only trigger something in me and I’ll end up slipping again.

But today marks a huge accomplishment for myself.

Today makes it a total of three weeks since I last self injured. For those of you who struggle with it, you know how big of an accomplishment making it this long is. I don’t say this to gain any sort of praise fro myself, because I don’t deserve it. All the praise for my success of making it this long is all to God. He saved me from myself and I know if it wasn’t for Him, these three weeks of freedom wouldn’t exsist.

I write this to hopefully give someone readign this hope. A hope of being set free from the weight of something like this as well. I never thought I’d be free from this to be honest. I thought it would be the thing to kill me, then again I was so far down in a rut at that time. God, thankfully, pulled me out and showed me His love and the way my life is meant to be.

That’s all I want this blog to be; hope. I pray that you folks reading this don’t find these entries as me attempting to gain some sort of sympathy vote, attention or bragging about the things I’ve been through. It’s not that at all. It wasn’t my intention and I apologize if some of you feel that way. I’m using this blog to open myself up more, to be more vulnerable and talk about issues that most can’t.

If any of you are struggling with SI, I hope you take one thing away from this. If I could make it three weeks, there’s a hope for you as well. I know you’re probably thinking, well that’s you I’m not as strong as you. Well that’s not true at all. I’m weak, but with Gods strength I can succeed.

Testimony….

Posted: December 18, 2009 in God, Life, overcoming, self injury

I was lost not too long ago. I had God, had His love and grace. But I threw it all away. Out of anger, hurt and pain. It was easier to blame Him for the terrible things that were happening in my life. I fell from Grace, and I fell hard. I almost threw every good thing I knew away out of pain and hurt.

I came to know of Him in October 2007. I too was lost when I came to Him. Then again I think we all are lost until we find God. I wasn’t happy with my life and I was searching for someone to love me for who I was. I came to the right Church, I encountered the right people and I felt loved. Still there was this void in my heart. I still felt lonely and so out of place, so uncomfortable in my own skin.

In January 2008, I was approached by my youth Pastor and leader of the churches Worship Team to come to a practice and jam with my guitar. She found out I played electric guitar and invited me. I said I would go, not expecting that that one practice would be a life changing thing for me. I was accepted into a group of musicians who used their talent to serve God. I was good at my musical gifting and even though I was still unsaved at the time, God improved my talent and made me even more great than I could have ever imagined.With time that is, it wasn’t an over night thing.

He started bringing people into my life who are now the greatest friends I have ever had. The type of friends who really cared about me, yet I was still blind to their love. I still couldn’t see what was right there in front of me. Honestly, I don’t think I could have spotted a great loving friend if they were to slap me in the face. It was all part of the process.

Then in May 2008, it finally happened. I was up on stage playing rhythm guitar for the worship team at the Encounter Weekend. It was also my Encounter Weekend. It’s part of the process one has to go through in order to become a member of our church. Friday the 30th, I felt Gods presence for the first time in my life. I remember thinking that maybe this was in fact real and people weren’t just crazy. But my answer came the next day during the worship service. I just felt so different, it’s kind of hard to explain. I was up there in front of everyone worshiping, crying my eyes out. As soon as we started the first song I just got this overwhelming sense of peace and stillness. That day, in the middle of doing the one thing that brought me more happiness than anything I was saved.

I was on fire for god until September of 2008. I don’t know what happened. It just went away. That past July I felt His presence in such an intense way at my first Generation Conference, but for some reason it all just vanished. I stopped reading as much of my bible as I should have, started drinking at parties again and that fire just disappeared.

I went through a dry patch in my  walk with God. I was still an active member of the worship team and was still attending services every weekend. I just didn’t feel Him there.

Then the New Year came, and it brought so many changes. But not the good kind. 2009 was probably the most trying year so far. We found out that my Grandpa, whom I was extremely close to had an inoperable asbestos cancer tumor connected to his heart. Since they found that tumor, he was in and out of hospitals until his death in April. I had everyone I knew that prayed, praying for his healing yet it did not come. I remember the day he died, I was at work thinking that I was going to finally go visit him at the hospice wing he was in. Then my dad got home a couple hours after I was out of work and delivered the news he had passed away. I was in a lot of pain emotionally. I didn’t know where to place the pain and hurt and confusion. I remember thinking God had done this to punish me, although I know now that is the farthest thing from the truth.Then, to add to the pain a month later my Aunt passed away from breast cancer. Like my Grandfather, I had had so many people praying for her healing.

I couldn’t understand why God did this to my life. Those events changed me internally. I did the wrong thing and placed all the blame on God and actually hated Him. I became even more depressed and began feeling alone once more. I shut off from the friends I let in. I felt deserving to be alone. I began to cut myself once more.

I struggled with self injury since I was 13. It gave me a sense of escape when I would cut myself. When I got saved in May 2008, I actually stopped until the deaths of my Aunt and Grandpa. I no longer had God in my life, or at least that I was accepting of. I was alone, isolated and completely trapped by my feeling of depression. I began to cut myself everyday and the suicidal thoughts I struggled with in the past came back even more strong and loud then the last time. I would think about suicide everyday. I was being haunted by it. I was being under complete control of my demons. I thought I had a handle on the cutting but when I found myself yearning to do it after a day of not cutting, I slowly started to realize that I was lying to myself by saying I had it all under control. It had me under control.

Then God began pushing His way back in. When I was at my lowest low, He broke through to me. This past November we as a youth group went back to the Generation Conference. The whole time I was hoping for Him to meet me. I was doubting if He was real or if He loved me. I remember on the very lsat day after feeling nothing of His presence the whole time, I got to my knees in worship and begged for Him to save me. I kept repeating to Him that I couldn’t do this anymore. The feelings of having no hope or no one in my life who loved me was too much. I need Him to save me that night, or I was going to go home and end everything.

I was so desperate for Him that night. He did answer that call of help too. I was sitting in my chair that night, during the very last altar call, just looking around the vicinity of the church. I was seeing people crying out to Him and being touched by His love, yet here I was, still hurting, still searching. I told Him that I gave up. That I was no longer going to be a part of the church and any of it. I simply quit.

Not even ten minutes later, someone from our group came up to me and told me he was going to pray over me, that he felt led to do it. I was curious as to what he would say, I figured if He wanted to waste a word to God over me I should just let him do it. God spoke so clearly through him during that prayer. I never talked to this guy about anything about myself. He began speaking against the self injury, the depression and feelings of worthlessness. I just broke. I remember thanking God so much for not hating me, that I loved Him, that I gave it all back to Him. I sat in my chair for what must have been 45 minutes, just crying my heart out. I felt that sense of freedom once more, only this time it felt more permanent.

I fell from the grace of God. Through His forgiveness I have another shot at my salvation. It feels more real this time, more of a forever type thing. I feel so much more free than I ever have. I was lost, but now I’m found.