Self-harm

03/01/2017

How much longer must this battle persist? 143 days clean and still the temptation presents itself, a seemingly excellent way in which to remove shame. I have used deliberate injury for release, for control, for a reminder of what has been, but never punishment; this invitation to punish myself is the first and it is strong.

Like an addiction the desire entices you, promising to free you, yet all the while its tendrils wrap more tightly around you, bringing you under its power. Formerly the master, you become the slave, bending to its every whim.

Perhaps I will feel whole, but it is only temporary and soon replaced by regret and a strengthening of the bonds. Christ died so that I might have freedom and be ashamed no more, and he alone sees the depths of the wounds. As self-harm beckons me I look to Christ, an ever-present light in a dark place.

Galatians 5:1; Psalm 34:5; 1 John 1:5.

 

At the beginning of the year, I endured the most significant struggle I have ever faced since starting this harmful habit. Although I did not succumb, it was the most intense and difficult period of my life in recent years. I dearly wanted to give in, but that brief moment of pain would not be worth the progress of almost 5 months without self-harming.

Each day I put a tally mark on a post-it note; one mark equals another day without self-harm. Moreover, I write the number on my arm so that when the desire comes upon me strongly, I have a visual reminder of the progress I have made.

At the time of posting this, I have reached day 164. There were times during this trying period that I grew quite despondent, as though there would be no release from how I was feeling. 21 days later, and I have had no temptation to hurt myself for at least 2 weeks. This gives me hope for the future, that with God’s help I can and will overcome self-harm.

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