I’m a 24 year-old woman who’s struggled with self-injury for a little over 7 years now. While trying to leave it behind me has been a rigorous war, my greatest ally in waging it has been my Friend, my Advocate, my Savior—Jesus Christ. I doubt I would have had the discernment to realize I needed to stop in the first place were it not for coming in deeper contact with His timelessly true message…that I am extremely precious to Him and that there is hope for me beyond what I see for myself. I’ve been a Christian my whole life but this conflict I fight daily within myself has made my faith infinitely more personal. 6 ½ years ago, I made a commitment to Him to stop hurting myself. I haven’t been able to carry through on it perfectly, but I’ve resolved not to use mistakes as reasons to give up. My average success rate is being able to go 2 years without cutting myself. On my better days, I have hope that I will eventually learn to go longer without caving to the impulse.
Over the years, I’ve spent a fair amount of time poking around online for ideas to help me in my journey of resistance. I have come across many practical strategies for coping with the urge to hurt myself but had trouble finding much in the way of helpful resources from a faith-based perspective. My love for God is central to my heart, so it made a great deal of sense to incorporate it into the healthier lifestyle I wish to lead. I’ve devoted this blog to the exploration of the many things Christ uniquely offers us to combat this drive to self-injure. My hope is that it could be a source of encouragement to others who wish to stop self-injuring. Our stories and pain may be different but our goal is the same…to live in freedom from this all-consuming torment. Both God’s grace and patience are persevering enough to sustain us throughout our journeys. For family/friends who may have come across this blog seeking to better understand the struggles of their loved ones, I will pray you are able to find something useful in these musings of mine.
I do not claim to know all the answers or have the ever elusive magic “fix it” button to just make the problem vanish. What I do know is that self-injury seldom occurs as an isolated problem; there are underlying reasons for why we feel driven to it as a form of release, expression, punishment, etc. All the coping strategies in the world can help manage the urge more effectively but they don’t eliminate those reasons. This is where I think Christ plays an essential role in our recovery by addressing the reasons to bring a sense of love and fulfilment to the agony and emptiness that fuels them. I will share how He has done that and continues to do that in my life in subsequent posts.