I wasn't crying out for attention and I didn't want to kill myself, cutting and self injury was the only way I could manage to calm down the war inside of me. I can't recall the exact day or time when depression hit me, and I can't recall what it was that made me think that self harm would be what would make me feel "free" even if only for a moment. I felt like I was releasing my demons.
Sadly there is a big misconception about self injury. Many people say "people that self harm, do it for attention." It wasn't a cry for attention.No one knew. I laughed and smiled often. No one Knew. I was an active leader in my church. No one Knew. My parents, my friends, my youth pastor, no one knew. I can look at my skin and find the tiny scars, my husband has never noticed them. When someone would notice, I would make up an excuse. The dog scratched me, I was carrying a box and it fell, I was cutting some paper and the knife slipped. And people knowing how clumsy I was, never asked or suspected anything further. I have many scars, and no one knew.
People also incorrectly assume that those that self injure must want to kill themselves, and in most cases they are wrong. For me as a cutter, it was cutting that made me feel alive. I didn't want to die, it was the very opposite, I was longing to live, longing to feel, desperate to breathe, wanting to break out of the bubble that was suffocating me. Wanting to be happy like everyone around me seemed to be, but yet not having the strength to pull myself out of the pit that I had gotten stuck in.
Then I met Jesus..After about 7 years of being in church and being a church leader, I made my exodus. I left. I went off on my own, without a pastor, without a leader, without a bible reading plan, without daily prayer times, without fasting and praying, all alone, struggling, feeling like I was drowning,I met Jesus, and everything changed. I had known for a while that God loved me, that Jesus loved me so much that he would have died for me and only me. But it was the intimate meeting in the wilderness that changed me. Instead of simply sitting at the kitchen table having a coffee, Jesus lead me into the inner courts, the places deep within myself that I always knew existed, renovated, and moved in. And though I still struggle at times with depression, I no longer have a desire to self injure.
*Not everyone experiences freedom from self injury in the same way, for me it was a spiritual connection, for others it may mean therapy, and others may need medication.
** I also want to shout out to To Write Love On Her Arms to say thank you, you don't know me, we've never talked, but your site was such an amazing place of love and support.
*** If you or someone you know struggles with self injury, please seek out the resources that could help you. Never be afraid to be judged, you are loved!