Tag Archives: cutting

Addictions

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Addictions are not easy things to overcome.  If you have ever been addicted to anything before, you would know.  When I was struggling with depression, I started cutting myself.  At first I did it so that I would kill myself.  Then, it turned into an addiction for me.  It helped to relieve all of the pain I was feeling inside.  There is always a reason for the addiction, but that reason is not worth the price of the soul.  Our soul is worth so much more.

There is a way out though, and that is the Savor.  We can let go of our addictions and put them at the feet of the Savior.  He will heal us.  He will free us, and He does.

Being Blessed with More

What direction are you taking in your life?

When we follow what the Lord or His Spirit prompts us to do, we are blessed by receiving more direction and guidance in our lives.  This same concept applies to following His commandments.  When we do follow His commandments, He blesses us by providing us with more commandments that help us to come closer to Him and become more like Him.

The Lord gives us line upon line, here a little and there a little.  He does not expect us to swallow a whole turkey or meal at once.  He prepares us for the things that we face in life as it says in Ether 2:25:

“And behold, I prepare you against these things.”

I have seen how the Lord has blessed and prompted me in my life through thinking back on how I was able to live while recovering from depression, suicidal actions and ideations, and self-harming behaviors.

One step at a time

At first, I never thought that I would ever wear short sleeves again because I have scars up and down my arms that are not little scars.  These came from cutting myself, a lot.  I also have marks on my arms where my skin is discolored because I would scratch my arms so much, when I didn’t have things to cut with, that now there is discoloration.  Basically, I never thought that it would be possible for me to feel like I could live in society with them knowing about what I have done with myself and my life.  I was not and am not proud of the fact that I desecrated my body in such a way.

But the Lord is kind and good.  He reminded me in various ways how important it is to be honest with yourself and others.  He reminded me through scripture that the Savior did not hide His scars from the people.  He showed the people and allowed the people to feel His scars and come to a knowledge of who He is.  The Lord prompted me to begin wearing short sleeves and to not be ashamed of what I went through or who I am at this point.

I must admit that it was not at all easy, especially at the beginning.  It was hard for me to see my scars every day throughout the day.  But the Lord helped me through.  He helped me to ignore or not be offended by the stares people gave me or the glances at my arms when talking with people.  No matter how we  look on the outside, I was reminded over and over again that we are each a spirit son or daughter of our Heavenly Father, and He loves us.

After wearing short sleeves again for a little while, I was prompted again by the Lord that I could be doing more to help others.  I was prompted to begin this blog.  I had no idea how to blog.  I had never done it before and it was like a foreign language to me.  So, I began researching about blogging, how it is done, etc.  I received strong promptings from the Holy Ghost that I needed to start this blog now.  (This was in June of 2011).  So, I found wordpress to be a great site to blog with and started my blog about my new life of hope.

Not to long ago now, after following these previous promptings, I received another prompting telling me that I could be doing more to help directly with people who may be struggling.  I asked around the community about where I could volunteer in mental health related areas.  I was directed to Madison Cares, which is a system of care for mental health in the Madison County and school district.

While searching for different places to volunteer, I was researching what I could do at the university I am attending.  I learned about the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and started looking into starting a chapter at my school.   Just this past week, we received confirmation that we can start meeting as a group about mental wellness.

The Lord truly does bless us.  He is in the details of our lives and He guides us.  The Lord does not leave us alone.  President Thomas S. Monson once said:

“We are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven.”

Safety Sleepovers

Safety Sleepovers

Overview

So, for those of you who do not know much about my experience with depression, I will give you a quick little overview.  I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder close to a year ago now.  One of the ways that I chose to cope or maybe not to cope with my depression was by cutting and other self harm.

I spent many of my days during this time obsessing over ways to kill myself.  I would think about close to all the time some days.  I just simply did not want to exist anymore.  I didn’t trust myself and did not think that anyone else should trust me either.  My life was literally down in the dumps.

My Friends

I had a couple really close friends who were extremely helpful for me.  They literally saved me numerous times from myself.  I can never thank them enough for being there and for helping me.  I can also never thank my Savior enough and my Heavenly Father enough for putting them into my life when I needed them the most.

Safety Sleepovers

There were many nights where I was very close to killing myself or cutting more.  I longed for comfort and acceptance.  I was scared of myself sometimes.  It was at these moments, sometimes in the middle of the night or at two or three in the morning that I would either call or text my best friend who lived in the apartment just below mine.

She would ever answer and her roommate would be right there to help me as well.  My best friend would come upstairs and help me bring my stuff for the night down to their apartment.  We would then take the couch cushions off of the couch and bring them to their room.  I would sleep on the couch cushions lined up between their two beds.

They were there for me.  They helped to protected me against myself.  They would answer a call at the most inconvenient times.  They simply loved me.  They loved me as Christ loves.  They protected me as our Heavenly Father protects.  They were there to support me and to guide me even when I thought I knew what was best for me and when I rebelled against their help, care, and guidance.

These nights truly were safety sleepovers for me.  They kept me safe.  They took me in.  I am ever grateful for them.

People

There is good in people.  And there are people out there who need your help.  They do.  I love this quote by Jeffrey R. Holland (speaking of conference and hearing the words of the Lord):

“Each of these conferences marks a call to action not only in our own lives but also on behalf of others around us, those who are of our own family and faith and those who are not…As surely as the rescue of those in need was the general conference theme of October 1856, so too is it the theme of this conference and last conference and the one to come next spring.  It may not be blizzards and frozen-earth burials that we face this conference, but the needy are still out there–the poor and the weary, the discouraged and downhearted, those “(falling) away into (the) forbidden paths” we mentioned earlier, and multitudes who are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.”  They are all out there with feeble knees, hands that hang down, and bad weather setting in.  They can be rescued only by those who have more and know more and can help more.  And don’t worry about asking, “Where are they?”  They are everywhere, on our right hand and on our left, in our neighborhoods and in the workplace, in every community and county and nation of this world.  Take your team and wagon; load it with your love, your testimony, and a spiritual sack of flour; then drive in any direction.  The Lord will lead you to those in need if you will but embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ that has been taught in this conference.  Open your heart and hand to those trapped in the twenty-first century’s equivalent of Martin’s Cove and Devil’s Gate.  In doing so we honor the Master’s repeated plea on behalf of lost sheep and lost coins and lost souls.”

Let us reach out to others and accept the love and the help that others want to share with us.

The gift of our bodies

Life can lead to happiness

We are not our own

I was recently reminded of the scripture in 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 which states:

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

We must remember that we are not our own.  Our bodies are not ours to do whatever we want with.  We were bought with a price as the scripture says.

I believe that many of us take this for granted or forget about it altogether.  We think that we have a right to do whatever we want with our bodies and our lives.  And yes, I agree, that we have each been given our personal agency, but we must remember how we were given that precious gift.

Because of Christ, we have been given so many wonderful and marvelous gifts, especially that of our body.  Is it our right to take away our own lives if we wish? What gives us this right?  Is it our right to destroy our body with bad habits like cutting, drinking, over-eating, under-eating, etc if we want to?  What gives us this right?

Our bodies are gifts from our Heavenly Father.  He sent His Son so that we might be given our bodies and our lives to show our faithfulness to Him and return to live with Him again.

What can you do today to treat your body more as a gift from God and to treat yourself more as a son or daughter of God?  I know He loves you and that as you strive to appreciate and show your love to Him back, you will be happier and have a more purpose-filled life.

There is a way back.  You are not a terrible person.  You are a son or daughter of God.  Even if you have made mistakes and have room in which to improve.  You are loved, and He will help you back.  Just lean on Him.

Broken Trust

Is this ever how you feel?

When glass shatters

The relationship we have with others is so very important.  This relationship, that we may have with our spouse, is vital.  We have a relationship with our God that must be treated like a marriage relationship.  What happens in life when we shatter the precious glass of a relationship we have with another, or when they do this to us?

Life becomes difficult and often hard to live when the glass of relationships shatters.  When trust is breached, we often do not know who to turn to.  We lose faith in others and in ourselves.  We become guarded and put up walls to protect ourselves from others doing similar things to us.  We crave safety and security.

When we do not have the safety and security in the person we most trusted, we gave our lives to in order to become one, we crumble.  Often we let ourselves shatter along with the precious glass of trust in the relationship.  We ask ourselves questions repeatedly about how this happened… Why did this happen?  What did I do wrong?  How can I ever trust him/her again?

We think to ourselves that our lives have just ended.  We may turn to sorrow or anger or frustration, crying our days and nights away or not checking our tempers or fuming within ourselves.  How do we move on with life when it has just blown up in our face?

Our Relationship with the Savior

Consider for a moment your relationship with the Savior.  How has he treated you in this relationship?  Has He ever done anything to lose your trust?  Now, how have you treated Him?  Have you followed His example exactly?  Have you had exact obedience in your life?  What have you done to break His trust in you?

How does he treat you when you break the trust in the relationship?  Does He completely avoid you and abandon you?  Does He give you another chance?  I testify that the Savior does give multiple chances to us.  He is ever patient and forgiving.  We can always turn to our Savior and Redeemer for comfort.

He trusts us enough to forgive us when we repent, and allows us to try again.

Moving On

People are imperfect.  In that way they differ from the Savior.  Sometimes we just cannot trust someone like we trust the Savior or like the Savior trust us because they have tried too many times.  But do we give them a second chance? A third chance?  How many chances do we give until we will no longer allow them into our lives?

Do we treat others as the Savior treats us?  Do we even treat others as we would like ourselves to be treated?  After a breach in trust from one person do we completely and immediately close ourselves off to other people?

How do we open up and allow ourselves to love and be loved again?  The only way this can effectively happen is as we turn to the Savior for help.  He understands.  He has been in our position numerous times.  He was crucified by His own people.  How great is that breach of trust?

In My Life

As I have seen how the Savior has forgiven me and allowed and helped me to move on and slowly begin to regain His trust again, I have had a greater capacity to forgive others and open up my heart again to love.

Surely, I broke the trust of the Savior as I destroyed one of His precious creations by cutting on myself.  I continued to do it as well.  I was not thinking of how it was affecting Him.  I thought only of myself.

But He has forgiven me.  I know this because of the sweet and calming spirit I have felt as I have repented and forsaken this sin.  I know that He remembers my sin no more.  I am assured of this truth as I read Doctrine and Covenants 58: 42-43:

 “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord, remember them no more.  By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.”

The Lord is ever merciful to us.  He trusts us as we follow with exact obedience.  As we recognize the Savior’s hand in our lives we are better able to move on with our own when our lives seem to shatter.  He is there for us.  He is there to help you.

The Point of Numbness

Is this ever you?

How are you doing?

How many times a day are we asked this simple yet insightful question?  Perhaps if people really cared how we are doing they would ask us questions specific to our circumstances, or look us in the eyes and speak to us heart to heart.  How are you doing?

At what point do you cross the line of doing good or fine to doing not so good or bad?  How do you know how you feel?  Do you ever feel as if you have lost your ability to tell?

Past Feeling

I have gotten to that point before.  It is especially then that I disliked being asked that question of how I was doing over and over again.  That was the point when I honestly couldn’t really tell how I was doing myself.  All I knew was that I cried every day and had no motivation to do anything.

It got to the point where I could hardly feel anything.  What people said to me didn’t completely register.  My senses were not immediate at all.  This is one of the reasons that I started cutting.  I just wanted so badly to feel.  I now recognize this as an unhealthy solution to my problem, but at the time it was what my brain decided to do and what I had.

In a way it was a release for me.  All of the feelings and emotions that I had inside of me that I couldn’t sort out came out in blood.  In the long run, this actually built up to even more unnamed feelings.

There are dangers in becoming past feeling.  These are described in the Book of Mormon in 1 Nephi chapter 17, verse 45.  It reads:

“Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God.  Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words; wherefore, he has spoken unto you like unto the voice of thunder, which did cause the earth to shake as if it were to divide asunder. . . O, then, why is it that ye can be so hard in your hearts?”

Do we allow ourselves to feel what the Savior and others would have us feel?  Are our hearts open to the Lord’s divine love and the love of others?  Are our hearts open to love others?

How we gain back feeling.

So, if we have gotten to the point that we do not feel so much, how do we gain that back?  How do we begin to feel again?

  1. Doing the Little Things:  By doing little everyday things that are good for us such as praying for help, service to others, and getting out of bed we allow ourselves to slowly, but meaningfully gain back feeling.  We are not waiting for lightning to strike us to make us feel better or be able to feel again.
  2. Awake, Awake:  By awaking ourselves we are able to feel again.  This can be as simple as getting up and taking a cold shower to shock yourself into feeling again.  This can also happen by repenting of sins, so that you do not have so much baggage covering you from being able to feel.  Each sin could be like and added blanket, some thicker than others.  As you take them off, you become better able to feel.
  3. Turn to Christ:  Asking for help when you need it is important.  Heavenly Father knows what we need.  He sent his son to experience all that we each experience.  Christ can and does help.  Through the atonement, we become clean and are truly able to feel again.
So, How are you doing?
How do you feel?  Do you ever feel like you just need a hug or a shoulder to cry on or just some other act of sincere love?  Do you feel loved?  Our Father in Heaven loves each of us perfectly.  He truly wants what is best for us.  Let us lean on Him.
Heavenly Father knows you perfectly.  He knows your strengths, weaknesses, challenges, hard times, and good times.  He knows you.  And He loves you.  How do you feel of His love?  Do you allow yourself to feel of His love?  How do you share His love with others?

The Worst Night of My Life and How I Survived

Divine Help

Our Heavenly Father gives us help in our lives during our most challenging times and when things are going well.  I love the verse of scripture found in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ in Moroni chapter 7, verse 33 which states:

“And Christ hath said:  If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.”

We can hope in the Savior of the world, in His redeeming power and perfect love.  He strengthens us when we cannot do things on our own.

Where does divine help come from?

  1. Divine help comes from an added measure of strength and ability.  This may be the case when knowledge is brought to our minds while we are taking an exam.  There are many other examples of this in life.
  2. Divine help comes in the form of other people.  Our Heavenly Father shares His love with us through sending people into our lives to lift and love us.
  3. Divine help also comes from diligence in keeping the commandments, reading the word of God and applying and integrating truths into our lives.  Basically, it comes from actually believing in the words we read and the truths we study.

All of these aspects of divine help have been essential in my healing process.  I will relate one example that has specific importance to me as it was probably the worst night of my life so far, but with divine help, I was able to make it through somehow.

The Worst Night of My Life

I don’t quite remember this night in the sequence of all the other events that went on during my depression.  I had done a lot of things to self-harm before.  This night, I was pretty much trying everything.

I am not positive, but I think that it was this night that I ate dinner with a good friend of mine.  I tried eating as much as I could so that I could go try to throw it all up afterwards.  So, I stuffed my face with food then went to the bathroom.  I tried repeatedly to stick my finger down my throat and throw up, but nothing but spit came up.  I got the gag reflex but nothing else.  It made me frustrated.

I went back out to the kitchen then back to my bedroom.  I think I had cut previously that day pretty deeply and had band-aids covering up the cuts.  So, I went back to my bedroom and was really glad my roommate wasn’t home.  I turned my candle warmer on and opened the window.

I had the screen out when my dear friend, who was washing the dishes when she was prompted to come back to check on me.  When she came in I was on the bed ready to sit on the windowsill and jump out of my third story apartment building.  When she came in I was not happy.  I just wanted to die.

Below is a quote from my journal with how I felt around the time:

“I hate my life so much.  I want to die right now. But nobody will let me. And I don’t understand why.  My life is pointless.  I hurt everyone.  I’m a stress to everyone.  I’m a burden to everyone and things would be better for people if I was not alive.  Really they would.”

So she came in and I knew she wouldn’t let me jump out the window so as she put the screen back in, I proceeded to ram my head into the wall repeatedly.  I wanted to do anything to destroy my body.  She held me back from doing this so I fought her and started to pull out large chunks of my hair, this was not the first time I had done this.

I also tried burning myself with the candle that was on the candle warmer and then with the candle warmer itself.  I would use anything I could find to hurt or cut myself.  I tried jamming push pins into my skin to make myself bleed.  But my friend kept fighting me.  One of my roommates came back and saw what was going on and then went back out to the living room to enlist her boyfriend to come help.

It was then that everyone was on top of me holding me down trying to make me stop destroying myself.  I was so extremely mad and frustrated.  I JUST WANTED TO DIE and they were not letting me.  As they were on top of me and holding me down I kept fighting them by doing anything to get them off me.  I even tried licking them.  When I could grab more hair to pull out, I did so, or I would bite myself.  Anything to inflict harm.

That was the night that the ambulance and the police came.  I was handcuffed and brought to the Emergency Room.  When the police came in that night, I knew I had lost.  I dejectedly answered their questions and allowed them to handcuff me and drive me to the hospital.

Today

Today I am extremely grateful for the divine help that came through other people that night.  I am sure that I would not be alive today if it were not for that help and that strength.  Times come in life that  we feel we cannot get through.  But we can!  Christ helps us.  He gives us power through divine help.

What are ways you have been helped through your darkest moments?  What helps you to move on when it is so hard to do so?  Where does your help and strength and courage come from?