Cutting. Burning. Skin-picking to prevent scabs from healing. Intentionally bruising or banging parts of the body against a hard surface.
These are all examples of self-injury, or NSSI (Non-Suicidal Self-Injury), as defined by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Although SI isn't a mental illness, it's oftentimes a negative coping mechanism to deal with stress, anxiety, trauma or emotional turmoil related to relational or family problems.
Too often, we see self injury as a taboo subject, or an issue plaguing only adolescents in broken homes. The reality is that nearly 2 million cases of self harm are reported annually in the United States. Although adults are less likely to suffer with an addiction to self-injury (or less likely to be found out or come forward) it is still a prevalent issue that often goes unacknowledged in social circles, within and outside the church.
As someone who has struggled with self harm, I want this blog to be a space where struggles (and victories!) can be shared in the hopes that someday they'll serve as an encouragement to fellow women who struggle with self harm as a coping mechanism.
Self-injury is not a subject to be taken lightly, and I want no misunderstandings here: the words here on this blog are personal thoughts, tips and stories. They are in no way meant to substitute the advice or care of a pastor, counselor, therapist or medical doctor. It is of the utmost importance that you have someone in your life (preferably a person who you can trust to hold you accountable) who is aware of your self injury urges. Do not walk this path alone: shame and fear have no place in your heart. Through the power of Christ and His undying love, you can find the strength to open up about your self harm and get the help you need. Reach out to me at email@example.com and I can share with you some of the advice and resources that have helped me the most.
Visit the following pages and websites for more information on self injury and recovery:
For the Self Harmer:
For the Loved One of a Self Harmer: