2:49. My mind doesn’t want to accept that number on my phone. 2:49. And i am awake at this hour. Can’t really call it a morning, but what else would you call it. I again explain to my husband - “i can’t sleep…”, kiss him, and leave him to sleep. Getting up to get coffee. My brain wide awake ready for well everything. Before i reach the toilet, my mind is already racing with million thoughts. Before i get to the coffee machine or a glass of water, well the plan for this day has been made, remade and replanned several times. So many thoughts, with so little energy. My body is tired of my brain. My brain won’t listen to my soul that wants to rest.
Oh i have prayed for this. Yet i haven’t received the answers i seek. God knows i’d like to sleep in. And part of me is fighting not to be mad at Him. Other part of me is begging God for more sleep and rest.
That’s how i feel. I just sit there, with coffee, and Netflix at this early hour. Because that’s all my brain can handle. And guilt trip myself for not having time with God for several days. Trust me, i have tried. You can say that i haven’t tried hard enough. Or i haven’t prayed enough. Or that i am lacking faith. Yes, i know, all those things have gone through my head too. But i haven’t.
I want to explain myself with my brain. But it’s hard to explain.
I am currently coming off from one medicine, as it wasn’t working. And at the same time going on another. First 4-5 days of withdrawal (slowly going off it, and slowly going on another one), were horrible. There were outbursts of random crying, even anger and rage. I don’t want to see that again. I went to the doc to see if maybe i have a wrong diagnosis, because there’s way more symptoms than anxiety has. But i am yet to get a proper evaluation. But she did change my medication. Which has sadly horrible side effects. One that annoys me the most right now with Australian summer, is sweating. Like heat wasn’t enough, my body decides to go through extra sweating. Be it day or night, i get these “sweatisodes” as i call them. Times where all sorts of places feel like sweating. Imagine your eyes sweating. That’s how bad it is.
And surely, not sleeping solid 7-8hours at night, leave me like that cat. Just sitting there, barely capable of accomplishing anything. My body is tired, yet my mind decides to run around like a wild horse. All sorts of thoughts going to all sorts of places. I was making coffee the other day. After making the espresso part for my cappuccino, and before making milk froth, i forgot myself somewhere. I think it was laptop. And did 3-4 other things, before i forgot what i was originally doing. Forgetful. And very distracted. I try praying, but my mind can’t seem to focus. I read the Bible, but my brain goes on automatic reading. Means i read, my eyes go over the text, but my brain is capable of thinking everything else, but the text i am reading. I try going back, reading again, but no luck. I try putting some background music, and that gets me daydreaming. I give up. Again. My soul wants to spend time with God, i really really do! But my brain decides to do everything else. It’s a battle and i keep on fighting.
Ouch. Is one the first things i think when i wake up at this early hour. My foot hurts, and it’s my own fault. I don’t know what causes it, most times there’s no reason to, but i pick at my skin. And sadly, since june, as i realized lately, i have had my foot “broken”. I have no better word for it. There are days, where the skin is getting better, too few days sadly. Where i can fully lean on my foot, without limping, without bandaids, or patching it up. Without blood or pain.
Today is not one of those. Neither was yesterday. Few days ago, i hurt myself again. With no reason. Right after, when i call Peter to stop me, i feel horrible. I have to call him, for it’s so compulsive that i can’t sometimes stop. Can’t, and sometimes part of me doesn’t want to either. He knows that. He loves me regardless. He tries his best to help me. I feel horrible that i have this emm… disorder. Since i was a kid actually. But as an adult, it has gotten worse.
I have picked at my foot since june without it being able to completely fully heal and get strong again. I have tried oils, ointments, foot scrubbing tools to buff away any excess. Not to mention wearing socks most of the time to 1) hide my wounds; 2) to keep myself from picking. (out of sight, out of mind kind of.) But no luck. Surely, we have prayed for this. Begged for God to help me. Help has not yet come.
It hurts today. I put some soothing medicine on it and limp around, trying not to walk much today. But i am worried. And i haven’t been able to help myself.
In the last year, at least two doctors have heard that i have problems with self harm. Neither one of them has asked to see my wounds. Nor asked me anything else about it. Which is sad. They prescribed me medicine. Which now i am changing.
When i have been super super brave and shared this with people, i have had quite a few different reactions.
There are people who are repulsed by what i have to face. “Like ew!”. Or they think it’s gross and yuk. There are those who feel sorry for me and pat my shoulder “there, there, i’m sure it’ll be better soon.” There are people who “why in the world are you hurting yourself, you need to take care of yourself.”
Among christians there’s also quite a few interesting responses (not to say the above wasn’t from christians).
“You need to pray about it (more)!” - like i haven’t right?
“Maybe you don’t have enough faith?” - i really don’t know how you can go measure someones faith.
“Christians shouldn’t have diseases at all! We are free from them”… very controversial topic, and many more answers similar to those.
Mostly i feel condemned, criticized, quilt tripped, sad. I fully understand all the answers and the good intentions behind it. Yet they aren’t helpful most times.
So what can i do? I keep on fighting. ALWAYS holding on to hope, that one day, one day it will happen, when i look back to this and say, i got victory finally!!!! That day isn’t here yet. But i have hope. I keep praying and i know so will the people who love me and who have taken time to know me. Who know i don’t do this to get attention. Who know i can’t control it or stop it. Who know i don’t do this for pleasure, or to see blood or get pity. No no.
Maybe you are wondering how could you help someone with self-harm problems?
Well, there are ways to help. Research is your number one thing. Do the research on that specific self-harm. There are many different things people struggle with. I struggle with skin picking, occasional over eating. But there are people who hate acne and have to squeeze every blemish. People who pull their hair, bite their nails and so on. Research the topic.
Secondly i recommend making sure that they know that you want to help. No judging, no criticizing, no more harm or harsh words. Regardless or their pain, suffering, thoughts, lies in their head, you have the option to encourage, compliment their efforts, support them. Help them bind the wounds. Help them by distracting them. Or whatever else.
Thirdly, when they are having a good day, have a discussion about what you can do when they are having a bad day. Maybe build a coping box (a box that involves items that help them - fiddly toys, sketch books, mix tapes etc to distract them). Maybe set in place things you are allowed to do. Like i allow Peter to physically hold my hands when i still can’t stop picking. If someone would do that without me allowing, i’d feel assaulting and attacked. It’s good to discuss things like that. Write them down maybe.
Four. Find self-soothing activities together. So that when you, the supportive wonderful person aren’t around, they can do. Create a list. Like take a walk, do hand massage, make a cup of tea etc. Things that would be calming to that person.
Five. If things get really bad and they are out of control bad (especially with cutting people), do call the ambulance. Or contact doctor if ambulance is too much. But if you see someone hurting themselves, please don’t stand by and think they got it under control.
I often see people in public self harm. You wouldn’t even think about it unless you know what self-harm is. It can be even in little children, as i’ve seen kids pull their own hair out. Or it can be nail biting, biting/pulling the skin around your nails, chewing the insides of your cheeks, excessive eating etc. I urge you to pay attention to those around you and offer a friendly talk, or shoulder to cry on, or just someone to walk with, even if it’s in silence. The worst thing to battle with is loneliness. Our world is filled with people, each with their own battles, struggles, fights. I urge you to be there for someone.
Not sure what else to say, but thank you for being my reader. There are comment option for asking questions for someone else, or encouragements or anything else. Or share it with someone who might need some encouragement, to know they aren’t alone. In any case, thanks for reading and be blessed!