An Open Letter to Self-harmers

If you are struggling or have struggled with self harm, please read the following article with discretion. While no graphic content is featured in this article, it could be potentially triggering to those who struggle with either self harm or suicidal thoughts.

Dear friend,

I see you.

I see you hurting.

And I know.

I know you have been afraid, thinking no one will understand what brought you so low; what left you like this.

In your mind it makes so much sense, but the pain of explaining that to someone is too high a price to pay… They would never see like you see anyways. Fear locks your lips, keeping you silent.

No one understands.

But friend, I do.

I see you and my heart breaks for you because I really do understand.

I know the pain that drives you to hurt yourself. I know the ache that leaves you empty. I know the rush of finding something that deceptively fills you up. I know the shame of having a body covered in scars.

I may not know what exactly what you are going through, but I do know this:

There is a way out,

but it is not this.

There is hope,

but you will never find it in blades.

There is help,

but you may have to be very brave to get it, friend.

I know you are strong, because you are still here. Your scars do not shout of your weakness, but of your strength! You have fought, and you have not lost all hope.

But I want you to see that freedom from self harm is real, and possible.

Maybe you are struggling, even today. Caught in the charade of a happy facade, stuck behind a smile that hides the scars on the rest of your body. You run to pain when you are overwhelmed, out of habit if nothing else.

To you, my friend, I plead for you to consider another way. The relief and distraction is temporary at best…

I want to point you to the One who can fill you up.

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived penned these words about God is Psalm 72:14, saying, “From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.”

God the Father loves you. He delights in helping His kids… please, run to Him.

He promises strength in trials. He promises redemption.

Put down the blades and leave them behind as you run into the arms of Christ.

Maybe you are struggling to stay clean. You are desperately trying to hold onto progress, but you are afraid.

To you, I say that I am so proud of you.

Pain is an addiction and the fact that you have fought it is worth celebrating.

Victories from self harm are not won by weeks, months, or years.

Friend, your victory comes today. God promises new mercy every morning (Lamentations 3:23), and every morning is a great time to celebrate your freedom. If you look behind you, you will falter on past mistakes. If you look ahead, you will be overwhelmed.

Keep living in victory today, and celebrate without fear.

Then run to Jesus to catch you if you fall.

He will still be there.

Self-harm is a struggle that grips onto people’s souls regardless of their gender, age, or religion. I plead with you not to let the lie that you are alone keep you from reaching out for help if you need it.

It may be the hardest thing you ever do, but breaking free from the chains of this cycle will be worth it. It is so very hard to do alone.

Don’t let shame keep you silent.

Don’t let fear hold you isolated.

Don’t let pain keep you captive.

Run to Jesus. That is where you will find genuine freedom, relief, and joy in having a relationship with Him.

Run to His word. David says in Psalm 119:49-50, “Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.”

Run to God’s promises, and find rest in His faithfulness.

We have a hope for true relief. It is real and lasting.

So please, friend. Hold on.

Hold on to Jesus, hold onto His word, and hold onto hope instead of grasping in the dark for fleeting relief.

We are in this together.

Hold on.

-Alathia

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