I hid this secret for years because I still suffer episodes of harming myself when I’m deeply hurt or severely depressed. It’s a coping mechanism that I sometimes cannot control.
My emotional pain becomes so overwhelming that I slap myself as hard as I can several times across my face or bang my head. Physical pain is the one thing that distracts me from despair. Each whack breaks me away from my tortured mind.
Death had become a wish, and suicide beckoned me all the time. But I was afraid to kill myself—and I didn’t know why. What was holding me back? This drove me crazy. My life held no hope, my humanity was annihilated, yet some inexplicable force prevented me from killing myself.
Because my illness is a constant reminder of past horrors and I suffer endless physical pain, the urges still come. I now work through my depressions by listening to uplifting or sad songs and resting in the one who strengthens me and fills me with inexplicable joy.
I’m a frail woman who has put her trust in a mighty God. And when I feel the need to hurt myself, I stop, ponder, and take a breath. Also, thankfully, I have a caring support team, something I’ve never had in my life before. It’s been about a year since I’ve hurt myself. For me, that’s real progress. And, somehow, I can wear a smile.
Self-injury is an important issue. So many victims suffer silently hiding their scars and pain.
It’s estimated that about two million people in the U.S. injure themselves in some way. Most are teenagers or young adults with young women outnumbering young men. They are of all races and backgrounds.
Help for Self-Harmers