Self-Harm: A Guest Post by My Broken Palace
Written by Project Inspired | August 14, 2014
Hey PI Girls, we’ve been getting a lot of requests from you all to discuss and open up conversation to more serious topics on our site. We have partnered with My Broken Palace, a nonprofit organization that helps people in their time of brokenness. They (and we at PI) believe that no one should ever have to deal with loneliness, depression, anxiety, stress, abuse, addiction or thoughts of suicide alone. For their first post, they will be covering cutting, a topic really relevant to today’s young women.
Written by Jes Balascio of My Broken Palace
Perhaps you or a friend is struggling with self-harm or cutting. We understand how hard it can be to confront a problem like this. It’s like hiding a monster in your closet where you’re afraid to let it out, but in a weird way, you like having him there.
Kimberly Navarro, licensed therapist (LMFT), provides these insights about cutting:
“It can feel good to have a release from all you’re holding in. Cutting can create a space for you to free the pain, frustration and fears without anyone knowing what is going on inside. Self-harm can momentarily quiet the really deep pain, too. Cutting can be a way to deal with whatever life throws at you. The thing is, there are some good and some harmful ways to deal, and cutting is a harmful one: It is destructive to your body, leads to shame and can even become an addiction. There are chemicals that get released when our bodies get hurt, and they have a calming effect. This can create a ‘high’ when cutting, and so the chase begins: pursuing that feeling even though it never is quite as good as the first experience. There are times when you won’t have the words for your feelings/pain, but cutting is never the answer. You must find other ways that are not destructive.”
Here are a few signs you might notice that one of your friends or family members is struggling with self-harm:
- One of the most obvious signs is wearing a hoodie or long-sleeve shirt all the time, even when it’s scorching hot outside.
- Another sign can be wearing lots of wristbands.
- Cutting also goes hand in hand with emotional problems in general. So just notice their obvious mood changes, ask how they are doing and have real discussions—don’t just keep it shallow.
It’s important to know:
- Deep inside, many self-harmers want to be discovered. They often cut in obvious places hoping to get noticed. But they are torn because they are afraid of being shamed or potentially getting sent to a psych ward.
- Most have friends who know but are sworn to secrecy, or have friends who struggle, too. The people who self-harm in complete secrecy and who cut in hidden places that would never have a chance for discovery typically are in more serious emotional distress.
- As a friend, it’s important to follow your gut. If you think someone is in trouble, and they won’t talk to you about it, then they probably are; if they’re not ‘being themselves,’ then they may need help.
We strongly believe that one cannot be free of the harmful effects of society without accountability and a strong reliance on God. You or your friend won’t be cured of cutting until you address what’s hurting inside, and that will likely require the help of a professional who has a relationship with Jesus Christ and experience with people in similar situations to yours. You or your friend will need interventions before you’re free of this demon, be that from MyBrokenPalace.com, a local crisis center, a trusted therapist or a counselor. Whatever your choice, please do something now!
Never forget: We are here for you. You are not alone in this. If you’re seriously considering hurting yourself right now, then please call or message us; we have caring people ready to talk to you 24 hours a day. Go to MyBrokenPalace.com and get connected with our anonymous, nonjudgmental social network made up of people who’ve gone through, or are going through, the same stuff that you are. You can also sign up for our daily text of spiritual encouragement; text “join hope” to 40650, and then reply “yes” to opt in. *Standard text rates may apply.