I have struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder for the last twenty-three years. I started cutting when I was eleven, and it has been a twenty-tw-year battle. I’ve been hospitalized in psychiatric units eight times, and I’m really ashamed to admit all of this. However, I’m proud to say that I haven’t cut in three years, as I have found other coping skills. Now, I’m creating a website to help other people understand mental illness, self-injury, and it also includes strategies for crisis intervention and suicide prevention. It’s hard to share my story of mental illness. It’s humiliating to show my scars and admit things like psychotic features. I’m always afraid that the person I’m speaking with wont understand. However, I decided that it’s important to put it all out there for people to see so they know they’re not alone and that there is hope for recovery. I believe God has given me this desire to create this kind of a website as a ministry. It’s hard to share it all, but if it helps others, it’s totally worth it. Every time I feel my scars, I remember that Jesus will have His scars for all time so that, when eternal life begins, mine will go away.
I turned to self harm (cutting) my sophomore year of high school when a friend of my who self harmed glorified it. I came from a family of dysfunction. My parents were divorced when I was the age of 1 and both remarried few years later. I was forced to move with my mom and step dad more than 10 hours from my dad and family at the age of 7. At a young age I felt llike I had nobody to talk to, I didn’t get along with my step dad and me and my mom didn’t have the best relationship either. As I grew up I didn’t know how to express problems or feelings, I just let them be anda go on with life. My sophomore year I begin being bullied by my so called friends, I felt betrayed, useless and alone. My best friend at the time told me about how she cut and how the feeling of cutting your skin so deep took away the pain. I tried it not knowing that it would end up becoming a addiction and my inner demon. I would cut every time I began feeling stressed, mad, sad, alone pretty much anyway other than happy. As years kept going my urge to cut became stronger. I became suicidal and would even write out my letters to family. Nobody knew my secret until my freshman year of college. I would lie about self harming, I would cut in places that people couldn’t see, I would wear long sleeves in the middle of Summer. The middle of my sophomore year I got into a relationship with a guy who seemed so wonderful who ended up becoming my abuser. I was so ashamed and afraid to tell anyone my problems in my relationship so instead I kept it to myself. My boyfriend knew I struggled with cutting and used it against me, he would encourage me to cut, he would grab my arms where I had opened wounds or slap them so the pain was painful. I became so depressed and turned to cutting multiple times a day everyday. I spoke out that I was suicidal and was placed into a mental hospital. After being in the mental hospital for a week I got out and felt embarrassed that everyone knew I was in a mental hospital for suicide. I began cutting and turned to anorexia as a way to take away all the pain. After 4 years of self harming I finally decided I no longer wanted to hurt my body I took it upon myself to get help and recover. I went to counseling and a Christ center recovery group called celebrate recovery. I was clean for 2 months and relapsed after being overwhelmed and stressed out. I stopped attending church, counseling, celebrate recovery and everything helping me recover. I started attending celebrate recovery 6 months ago and realized that my life is worth something beautiful, and my story wasn’t over. God has delivered me from self harming 6 months ago. I faithfully attend celebrate recovery weekly. God has worked within my life and has placed people in my life to help me along my recovery journey. I now have a different kind of confidence in who I am. I use my scars as a way to share my story and teach others about God. Although I went through a really rough 5 years of self harming I am blessed to have overcome it and share my story with others.
Your story isn’t over!
From the outside looking in my life seemed fairly perfect. An only child, loving parents, pets, I lived near the beach, I had a lot of friends, my home life was good, I made good grades…ect. But on the inside I was lonely. I had a lot of anger. I resented my parents for my lack of love. My perception wasn’t clear. I began to cut in middle school and stopped in high school. I experimented with other types of SH. I needed an outlet for my anger and hurt and loss. Thankfully one day I decided that this wasn’t helping my life. It was making me miserable. So I stopped. I was always able to stop, I just didn’t know how to control my emotions. But thankfully I have learned. I poured my heart and soul into journaling. I had found a safe place to express my feelings. I wrote deep and dark poems. I could almost feel the anger seep out of me and become the ink in which I wrote. It was like magic. Since those dark days I have given my life to Jesus, gotten married to an amazing man who loves me likeJesus does, and I’ve found a career I’m passionate about. I haven’t SH in years. And I have gotten a lot better at handling my urges and temptations.