Tag Archives: Self-harm

The Worst Night of My Life and How I Survived

Some of you may have already seen this post (It is one I posted originally a few months ago), but I feel prompted to post it again.  Maybe somebody new needs to hear my story.  Some of the content may be triggering for those dealing with self-harm issues.

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?

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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.

Love Watch

Where are you going?

How we Show Love

Our love towards others is portrayed in every step we take in this life.  Our simple choices help lead us to where we end up and who we become.  This has a huge affect on those we love or those we end up loving.

Small choices can end up being extremely detrimental to the strength of love that we have for another.  Choosing to not spend time with another is a huge detriment.  Love is really shown in the time that we spend with those we love.  Dieter F. Uchtdorf said this about love:

“In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time. Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home. We talk with, rather than about, each other.”

Family is the place where we should learn to truly love.  Sometimes our families are not exactly conducive to this atmosphere and yet we try our best.  This is when we must turn to our heavenly family.

Our Relationship with God

The love that we show to our God is very similar to the way that our love is demonstrated to others.  Through serving His children, we show our Father in Heaven that we love and care for Him.  We also show Him this as we follow the example of His Son Jesus Christ.  As we always remember the Savior, we can be assured that we are showing our love for Heavenly Father.  Dieter F. Uchtdorf also said this in his article “Of Things that Matter Most:

“We improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father by learning of Him, by communing with Him, by repenting of our sins, and by actively following Jesus Christ, for ‘no man cometh unto the Father, but by [Christ].’ To strengthen our relationship with God, we need some meaningful time alone with Him. Quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study, always aiming to be worthy of a current temple recommend—these will be some wise investments of our time and efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father. Let us heed the invitation in Psalms: ‘Be still, and know that I am God.'”

Are we taking the steps that will lead us to our Heavenly Father and our Savior?  Are we truly showing our love for them?  What can we do to improve?

Taking Steps Towards Love

Many of our every day actions have an effect on those people we love.  As I began self-destructive habits of cutting and other things, I never really thought about how it would have an effect on those who loved me.  When I started, I thought only of myself and how I thought that it would make me feel better.

I gave into the addiction that cutting became for me.  I rarely thought about how the addiction would make those who loved me feel.  It was not until a dear friend found out and expressed concern that I thought about it.  I leaned on her a lot when I had cravings to be self-destructive.

The steps she chose to take helped me break free from the self-destructive behaviors I had.  It is ultimately through the Savior that we are able to break free from addictions or habits that need changing.

Ultimately, we must decide what we want out of life.  If we want to live a life of true love and happiness spent with those we love and those who love us, we must think and reach beyond ourselves and our own appetites.  The Savior is the one who helps us to become the type of person who loves sincerely.  He shows us how to love perfectly.  He loves you personally and perfectly.

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?