Trigger Warning: Self-harm
There once was a young girl. Broken hearted, far from God, and feeling beyond hope, she didn’t know how to handle all the pain.
At the young age of sixteen, she felt beat and desperate, the inner turmoil she fought was just too much to bear, and she fell for a very dangerous form of coping with her hurt. She turned to the cold blade, desperate for relief. Little did she know, it would offer the opposite. She realized self harm was like screaming, but no one could hear her. It didn’t solve anything, and now she couldn’t stop.
What scared me was when I looked in the mirror, I saw her.
Hurting myself became an addiction for years; I literally craved it. It was how I dealt with the bad experiences in life. The thing is, the relief was temporary and afterwards it left me worse off. Guilt, shame, and disappointment plagued me. I got to a point where I just couldn’t carry on anymore, it was getting worse, and I was afraid. As much as I tried, I couldn’t stop on my own.
True change came about when I found my self-worth. I didn’t have to deal with my problems by taking it out on myself. God showed me there was more to life than just a few bad years. I managed to stop, and through God’s help, I was able to break that addiction.
If you are considering self harm or have tried it a few times, I am here to tell you, it is not worth it. Stop before it gets worse. It will get worse to the point that you won’t be able to control it. While hurting yourself may help in the moment, it’s not the answer to your problems. In the end, it will just add to them.
If you find yourself chained to this addiction, then I want you to know that you can stop. You need to know that there are big things in store for you; it’s time for you to move forward with life and allow yourself to mature and grow. You may not feel that or you may not see how, but you can choose to start believing it. That hope you are still hanging on for is found in the hands that heal your wounds, the heart that loves your scars, the God who cares for you and will get you out of this place. He sees every mark on your body, He hurts that this is what your pain turned into. However, He wants to help you, and He has not given up on you.
People who self harm usually suffer from either anxiety, depression or have endured some traumatic event. It could be the out-working of something that happened in their childhood that left a lasting effect on them. It may be an expression of feelings they can’t put in words–a way of feeling in control. It could be to feel something instead of just being numb. Maybe it’s a way to relieve their emotional pain with physical pain. Or it could be a outworking of self-hatred.
The point, however, is that self harm is a symptom of an underlying problem. It is a coping mechanism. The trouble is it is addictive and dangerous.
What you need to know is that, just as self-harming is a way (however ineffective) to deal with your pain, there are many other more effective ways to cope with it. You really don’t have to stay in this dark place, these chains are not permanent, and you can break free from that grip the blade holds.
When you feel like you have to handle your problems alone, you will form unhealthy habits. Remember, God is with you, as cliché as that may sound, it is true, and it will be the starting point of your healing if you let that sink in. God will help you.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:10, 13)
These four things helped me overcome self harming, and I believe that they may help you.
1. Realize your self-worth.
Here are a few verses to study. They will affirm you and help you see just how valuable you are. (This step is very important. Please put the time into this one.)
- You are chosen by God. 1 Thessalonians 1:4
- You are the apple of your Father’s eye. Psalm 17:8
- You are being changed into His image. 2 Cor 3:18
- You are forgiven of all your sins. Eph 1:7
- You are above and not beneath. Deut 28:13
- You are victorious. Rev 12:11
- You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14.
- You ARE SET FREE. John 8.31
- You are God’s beloved. Jeremiah 31:3
- You are delighted in. Zeph 3:17
- You are washed clean. Isaiah 1:18
- You are righteous. 2 Cor 5:21
- You are a sweet aroma. 2 Cor 2:15
- You ARE NEVER ALONE. Deut 31:8
- You are a masterpiece. Eph 2:10
- You are bold. 2 Cor 3:12
- You are holding a secured future. Jer 29:11
- You are whole in Christ. Col 2:10
Maybe you don’t feel this, but that’s only because you have believed a lie about yourself for so long. When you allow yourself to love yourself, things change. It may be a slow process but when you see yourself the way God does, there is nothing you can’t do.
2. Write why you self harm.
This may take time to put into words, but it’s important that you do. Even if it is just one word answers, write every reason why. This helps you see why you do it, it reveals the root problem, and helps you in step three.
3. Talk to someone.
Find someone you trust, preferably older than you, and maybe show them your list or talk about the reasons why. Getting advice on your problems is a good thing, and it really will ease the pain. This is how you overcome problems, confront them, and deal with them. Don’t let them build up thus causing it to come out in some unhealthy ways.
4. Now, you need to find a new way to cope.
For me it was through godly music, talking to God, helping in a counseling program, reconnecting with my family or writing poems. I did small things to make good changes. A wonderful way to cope with pain is to do something you love. Form a habit that you can turn to when you need to release your emotions. Start a new thing in your life. Let go of the old, and self harming will just lose its appeal. Bad things will happen in life, but that doesn’t mean you have to do bad things to yourself. Those are the moments you should love yourself harder, even if you did something wrong. If you self harm because you are angry with yourself and hate yourself then I want to share something with you that God told me.
- You don’t need to hurt yourself anymore; Jesus hurt enough on the cross.
- You don’t need to bleed for what you did wrong; Jesus’ blood is more than enough to wash your sin away.
- You don’t need to punish yourself anymore, Jesus’ sacrifice was more than enough, and your price was paid. You don’t need to suffer for it.
- You don’t need to harm yourself to feel again; by His strips you are healed, you are forgiven, you are loved, you are worthy, you are enough. You will feel again, once you let Jesus break down your walls.
- Don’t hurt yourself. No matter what you have done, you don’t deserve it.
- Don’t let Satan make you feel guilty or ashamed any longer.
Everything will be alright. The scars of Jesus are the only scars you need to overcome this.
Read my blog Learn to Love Yourself if you would like more help in this area.When you start feeling overwhelmed, understand that you can control your emotions. Talk to yourself (positively) and calm yourself down. Wait it out, and the urge to self-harm goes away. Remind yourself that you will be ok, that Jesus loves you, and He will help you through this. Be your number one encourager.
Self harm is an addiction; therefore temptations come. What you need to remember is that Satan is egging you on (Ephesians 6:12) and because God is greater than Satan, you will overcome! (1 John
Here is a prayer to break that bondage of self harm, to shatter that hold Satan holds on you. (Mark 5:13 proves that that spirit can be cast out)
Almighty Father, I pray that you heal my broken heart and release me from this darkness. I apologize for the evil that I allowed in my life, and I pray that you remove it. By the blood and authority of Jesus, I bind and send all evil spirits to the foot of the cross for my Father to deal with, and I pray in its place the Holy Spirit fills me with joy, peace, faith, and self-control. I bring the cross and blood of Jesus Christ against satan and all the ways he may try to drive me to self harm again. I now come under the authority of Jesus and bind myself to Him. I thank you God for healing me, I praise you, and I worship you, Jesus. I choose to believe that I am your beloved and that I am worth overcoming this. I choose to believe that I am valuable and that I deserve better. Help me to focus on you when times get tough and learn to deal with them in a way that will help me grow and mature, to become stronger. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Now believe it is done! Even if you are tempted, or if you fail, it has been broken. It’s just the habit to break now. You are no longer a slave to self harm.
You deserve so much more! God doesn’t want you to live life broken, beaten, or defeated. And don’t be ashamed of yourself or your scars! I read a quote which says, ‘The scars you share become lighthouses for other people who are headed to the same rock you hit.”
I overcame the addiction of self harm; I am living proof that it can be done. You can do this, and your story will help others as well.
“A scar does not form on the dying. A scar means I survived.”-Chris Cleave
You are still alive, and there are many reasons to keep going, even if it’s just to help that one other person who needs someone like you. This is a call for more!
“My scars tell a story. They are a reminder of times when life tried to break me, but failed. They are the markings of where the structure of my character was welded.” Steve Maraboli.