Saturday, November 30, 2013



An addiction?  A temptation?  A way of escape?  A coping mechanism?  A form of release?

Self-Injury may be one or all of these to you.  It times past, self mutilation surely was all of this for me.  Even now there are times when I am faced with the "opportunity" or thought of falling back into this, even for a time.  And if I fall in the form of scratching (I will no longer engage in self-injury the way I did years ago), I make this known to a trusted friend and accountability partner in order to keep the lines of honesty and communication open between us.  Because the statement, "Sin thrives in secret" is also true of self-harm.  If no one knows about your issue with this, you are alone and cannot receive help or a support system/friend that is there for you.

The problem with self-injury is that while it makes you feel better for the moment, it will only beckon you again in the next circumstance, situation, or argument that happens...calling you and then leaving scars on your body that may minimize over time, but not fade completely.  It is like a vicious cycle that leads to a downward spiral of getting nowhere, just round and round, without taking care of the root problem or very cause of why you began engaging in self-harm to begin with.  It is almost like a drug (a cheap substitute) that we need more and more of; more often and to greater depths to achieve the same result of comfort or release.  It is similar to putting a band aid on your body when inwardly you have Cancer.  It blinds us into feeling like we are dealing with whatever is going on or has happened in a way that we can be okay and yet when reality hits or the next trigger occurs, we go back to our form of release.  It is a way of dealing with issues by bringing on another issue or addiction in the form of self-injury.  And our struggle with self-harm may fluctuate from bad to worse, from monthly to weekly to even daily, from various forms of self-injury like burning or deeply cutting to mere scratches of a greater or lesser degree, depending on the depth of what first triggers our desire to do so.  Whether the reasons we engage in self-harm are because of outward situations or inward problems, whether it is due to envy or a low self esteem, being upset or overwhelmed, feeling less than, self-hatred, comparing ourselves to others or feeling like we fall short of the standards society places on us (physical appearance, our weight, or mental health), abuse in some form or just a way of feeling something, harming ourselves in this way is truly harming ourselves, whether we see it this way or not.  I understand some people engage in cutting because they may not like who they are and find self-injury to be a way of destroying themselves without actually dying, but some people do die though!  Do not underestimate the lengths you will go to receive the initial high you first got or have had for months each new time you self-injure.  And dear friends, why not instead turn to the One who...

"Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried... But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed."  Isaiah 53: 4-5

...the One capable of making you a new creature in Him (Second Corinthians 5: 17), the One able to deal with the root problem of bitterness, anger, disgust, disappointment, hurt, pain, jealousy, and a distorted self image.  …the One who truly gives our lives value and purpose and meaning and hope, the One who transforms us from the inside out; healing our brokenness, making us whole.

It really is quite twisted when you ponder this issue; mutilating your body because of an outward situation or inner turmoil.  There are many reasons people engage in cutting.  Yet recently I watched a documentary on cutting and two statements really spoke to me.  The first by Karen Conterio, Director of "S.A.F.E. Alternatives" and the second by Nikki Jackson, MS, Marriage & Family Therapist:

"What stands in their way is, 'What am I gonna replace it with?'  And what we tell adolescents or we tell anyone who injures, 'There's not going to be something to replace that quickly the same way that you would get from injuring.  There's just not gonna be...'  And the bottom line is that feelings, actual feelings, are very painful sometimes and sometimes they're scary and sometimes they're overwhelming.  Sometimes many people think they're gonna explode if they feel feelings.  In order to stop self-injuring, one has to decide that that's what you wanna do.  Many people believe they can't do that.  And what I tell people all the time, 'The only thing we HAVE to do in life is breath, take in nourishment and liquids.  That's the basics of what we need to do.  We don't need to injure to survive.' "

"The fact that all of us on a human level feel feelings and we experience being overwhelmed and we don't all cut and so the idea is to help {people} to understand that there are other ways of feeling those emotions and expressing them aside from cutting."

If anyone has questions on the topic of self-mutilation or needs someone to speak to about this, you may write to me at: and I will graciously seek to be a support and will kindly suggest resources on the topic (books, web sites).


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...