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Self harming Christian

(44 Posts)
FaithLoveandGrace Wed 03-Dec-14 21:13:01

I'm feeling really down this evening and finding it hard to cope. I've had mental health issues for years and tonight is just a bad night it seems. I find myself so conflicted with the religious side of things. I believe in a God of love, a God who loves us dearly more than we can possibly imagine, even more than the depth of love we feel for our own children. That's quite overwhelming for me and I feel like by self harming I'm letting God down. I feel like even though God apparently loves me, I'm throwing it back in his face by hurting myself.

I'm not sure I can articulate myself this evening, I'm just feeling so down sad

niminypiminy Wed 03-Dec-14 23:45:20

Oh, sweetheart, it is so hard to struggle on and on with so much pain inside you, and to feel like if you could harm yourself it would be a relief. I'm just praying for you right now, that that it will pass and that you'll be able to sleep and tomorrow will be another day.

Know that you can never let God down by hurting yourself. He is there with you in the pain and confusion. He cries as you cry. He holds you in his scarred hands, as tenderly as if you were a baby. He is there as you sleep and he is there when you find a ray of light in the darkness.

Have you found the lovely ladies on the prayer thread? They are wonderful at supporting people through hard times. Everybody there has been through tough stuff. I truly believe that Jesus is there on that thread.

Hope you sleep. I'll check back tomorrow morning to see how you are.

Tuo Wed 03-Dec-14 23:52:32

Oh, FaithLoveandGrace... I'm so sorry to hear that things are hard for you at the moment. My DD has self-harmed, so this was a post that I could not ignore! Have you spoken to a doctor or counsellor about how you're feeling right now? Have you had help in the past which has been good for you in helping you to go beyond your negative feelings? Are you safe now? Are there things that you can do to distract yourself from your desire to self-harm?

I also believe in a God of love, and I don't believe that anything you feel about yourself or do to yourself while you are depressed and unwell can change that. In fact, I don't believe that anything changes God's love for you, full-stop. We have all (? most?) of us had times when we have thrown God's love back at him: the wonderful thing is that he keeps on offering himself regardless. So please don't worry about this - but do seek help and support to help you through these difficult times.

If you think it might help, do come and visit us over on the prayer thread - not instead of, but as well as seeking RL help. We will hold your hands virtually, and will be happy to pray with and for you.

I shall be thinking of you.

Tuo Wed 03-Dec-14 23:54:12

X-posted with niminy.

KnitFastDieWarm Thu 04-Dec-14 00:05:45

I have no advice, just love for you - I have depression and part of the lie it tells us is that we're not worthy of God's love and that we're rejecting Him by being ill, which is nonsense. God loves you when you are praising Him with a joyful heart and loves you when you are despairing and can't love yourself.
are you getting any help from your GP? it took me ages to accept help because I felt like a 'bad' Christian for not being able to get better through faith alone. the thing is, God is alongside us through physical and mental but that doesn't mean we should reject medical help - it can work hand in hand with spiritual help.
I pray that you'll feel God holding you in the Palm of His hand right now, even when you are hurting and angry with yourself. He loves you especially when you need carrying, when you need strength, and when you can't love yourself.

FaithLoveandGrace Thu 04-Dec-14 07:34:09

Morning all, I just wanted to pop back quickly before work. I'll reply properly in my coffee break but I wanted to say thank you so much for your love and kindness, it really does mean a lot to me.

niminypiminy Thu 04-Dec-14 12:03:03

How are you doing this morning?

FaithLoveandGrace Thu 04-Dec-14 13:29:37

Feeling pretty down today. Whenever people ask how am I, I find myself saying I'm good and pretending that all is fine. Often this morning I've been asked around others or at times when we've only got a minute or so, so I've not felt able to say well actually, I'm not okay.

During morning prayer I prayed that God will help me open my heart and mind to his presence and love. For some reason it made me feel like I was going to burst into tears. Prayer does help though and I will definitely pop over to the prayer thread later on today.

Tuo I'm really sorry to hear about your DD. It can't be easy for you to find out that about your DD. Thank you for sharing and for your kind words. I'm sure your daughter knows how lucky she is to have such a kind, caring mum.

Regarding rl help, I have been to my GP. She put me back on anti depressants but I keep forgetting to take them. I have seen a counsellor in the past as well as regularly chatting to our Chaplain. I've been trying to find a new counsellor who's also a Christian but it's proving difficult. I did find one but turns out she's not free atm so I don't know if it's worth me waiting for her to become available or if I should find a different one.

I've got to get back to work now but thanks so much for your love and support!

KnitFastDieWarm Thu 04-Dec-14 14:45:48

She put me back on anti depressants but I keep forgetting to take them.

PLEASE take them as prescribed...I am guilty of the 'i forgot/but I feel fine so i don't need them/they don't work yet/I can manage on willpower alone' malarkey and believe me, it's never a success! Generally either my DH or members of my church small group will kick my ass until I start taking them properly again - in fact last time I got my DH to record me on video talking about how much better I felt on the correct meds so that he can play it back to me whenever i feel myself wavering! grin

They take a while to kick in after a break - keep taking them consistently, stay in touch with your GP, keep looking after yourself with prayer, things you enjoy etc (just as you would a friend). You deserve to feel better!

Lots of love and prayers smile

FaithLoveandGrace Thu 04-Dec-14 19:08:18

Thanks Knit I know you're right. I'm so bad at taking them - both remembering as well as finding excuses not to.

When I got home this evening I made a spag bol from scratch. I haven't cooked from scratch in a while and I forgot how much I enjoy it smile

niminypiminy Thu 04-Dec-14 20:37:35

That is great. Hope you enjoy your meal!

(And don't forget to take your AD's this evening smile)

I think a lot of people with depression are pretty good at covering it up, so that no-one suspects. Sometimes it can be good to carry on as if everything was ok, but sometimes it's really important to say 'no, I'm not ok'. Remember that even if you can't talk to anyone in RL (though I hope that you can) you can always talk to us here.

We prayed for you at our midday communion today.

Tuo Fri 05-Dec-14 00:26:30

Baby steps, FaithLoveandGrace. Take baby steps. Doing something you enjoy, like cooking from scratch, is good. Keep talking - to us, even if you don't feel you can in RL. And take the antidepressants. I know it's a bit of a cliché, but you wouldn't expect someone with a broken leg to just try to hop about without crutches. There is nothing wrong with needing support - and everything right about taking it when it's offered. Good luck.

Thank you for thinking of my DD. She is doing well. TBH, I think she scared herself and wanted to be 'found out', if that makes sense. She doesn't always share stuff with me (I am her mum after all... and she's [very nearly] a teenager), but she is communicating much better than she had done for a while before I found out. It was tough, though, as a parent, to feel I hadn't been there for her when she was feeling so unhappy. sad We are doing lots of distraction activities!

In your case, please know that we will be praying for you, and try to do all you can to keep yourself safe and well.

FaithLoveandGrace Fri 05-Dec-14 10:30:30

Took my AD last night. I'm not sure if it was the AD that made me have a restless night or DP's inability to sleep (though may have been both!).

Wrt covering it up, I think I've just got used to it, both because of issues in the past when I haven't covered it up and also because sometimes it's just easier. If I say I'm not okay, people can have a tendency to say why not and I think depression (for me at least) is really hard to explain as there's no specific reasoning behind why I feel down.

niminy it was really kind of you to pray for me at your midday communion, thank you.

Tuo I know you're right about the cliche and everyone saying I need to take the ADs is right but I really hate that dependence on them. I actively encourage my friends with depression to take the AD's their GP has prescribed yet when it comes to me I just feel like a failure for still needing them. I can imagine it being really hard with your DD! My brother started hurting himself recently and that was hard enough even though I have direct experience of it, so I can only imagine how awful it must have been to find it out about your DD. Please don't feel like you haven't been there for her. Sometimes it can feel easier to deal with things on our own and I'm sure it's absolutely no reflection on you. I know my self-harming has no reflection at all on my DP and people I love who are wholeheartedly supportive. I'm glad she's communicating better now.

I was going to chat to someone in RL this morning but I just couldn't. Another friend of mine was there for part of the time and I didn't want her knowing how bad things are for me. Also though I just couldn't find the words. I don't know why I'm feeling like this, I don't even know how to articulate how I'm feeling so it's really difficult to talk in RL.

FaithLoveandGrace Fri 05-Dec-14 10:35:55

I meant to say also our reading and short thoughts today really struck a chord. It was Matthew 9:27-31 and as our vicar read out the short thoughts afterwards it really resonated with me. He spoke of how sometimes we don't really want God to heal us, sometimes when dealing with addiction we almost become comfortable with the darkness we are in.

Sometimes I feel like I don't want to be healed, that I don't want to be stopped from self-harming as it becomes familiar, it becomes my way of coping and being in control. Yet we're never really in control of anything and I know that I need to trust God and truly want him to heal me.

KnitFastDieWarm Fri 05-Dec-14 10:39:41

I really hate that dependence on them. I actively encourage my friends with depression to take the AD's their GP has prescribed yet when it comes to me I just feel like a failure for still needing them.

I know how you feel - it's so easy to hold ourselves up to ridiculous 'standards' that we would never dream of applying to our friends, especially when we are in the depths of depression and feel undeserving. Please remember that that's the depression talking - there is nothing wrong with needing medication to function any more than there is anything wrong with needing insulin if you're diabetic.

innerstrength100 Fri 05-Dec-14 11:24:25

Hang on in there Faith, you are not on your own. Lots of people on here are thinking of you.

Dutchoma Fri 05-Dec-14 11:50:25

I know what you mean about not being able to reach out; I'm very much there myself. And if I do reach out I find that people are so keen for you to be in what someone called 'smiling Christian mode' that it is easier to go along with that and leaving that 'stoney box of stoney grief' where it is.
I have no answer beyond enjoying what you can enjoy and believing that the light is there and 'tears last for a night but joy comes in the morning' (sorry no time to find the reference)

KayKat Sat 06-Dec-14 09:24:00

When your brother started self harming did you feel he had let you down? Or did the thought not enter your head? Were you just concerned and wondering how to help? I can tell you from a little bit of experience that a parent in this situation would never think their child had let the down so why would God think this?

I imagine it must be normal for anyone with an addition to not actually want to be healed but in your head you know it's the right thing. Did you tell your GP about the self harming?

WRT the counsellor I always think of them as health professionals who don't need to be Christian in order to do their job and help you so if a Christian counsellor is not available maybe try a non Christian one and see how you get on and you can keep talking to the chaplain for a Christian viewpoint. I'm really glad your chaplain is being so supportive and I hope you are feeling a bit better today.

FaithLoveandGrace Sat 06-Dec-14 10:48:32

Kay that's an interesting point about my brother. You're right, the thought didn't even cross my mind that he'd let anyone down. I just wanted to help. I just can't apply the same logic to myself and actually find the idea that God loves us no matter what we do overwhelming. I'm sure I'm not alone with this thought but I feel unworthy of such a strong, unconditional love. I think like Knit says, we hold ourselves up to ridiculous standards and it can be really hard to step back and treat ourselves as we would a friend.

I do think I need to reach out in rl. There are people who wouldn't judge and wouldn't think I need to be smiling all the time and pretending all is well. Perhaps I should try to find the time to see them properly.

I think I told my GP, I'm not sure. I've mentioned it before so it should be on my notes even if I didn't specifically mention it this time.

The thing is with the counselling, the faith based issues are also quite personal and I'm not sure id really want to talk to the chaplain about it. We've talked about a lot but I'm not sure how deep I (or indeed he) would feel comfortable with.

Dutchoma Sat 06-Dec-14 17:08:34

FLG our feelings can be very deceptive. If God says that he loves you and you don't 'feel' it, who are you going to believe? We are none of us worthy of God's love, there is no doubt about that, but because of Jesus we have access to God. It can be totally overwhelming once you 'get' it. But it is true. Gal 2:20 says that (God) loved me and gave Himself for me. The Bible is full of it and your 'feelings' cannot be trusted.

CaulkheadUpNorth Sat 06-Dec-14 17:11:23

I'm a self harming Christian. I even work for a church.

I have no wise words, I just wanted you to know you're not alone.

FaithLoveandGrace Sat 06-Dec-14 22:59:29

Thank you for your words Dutchma. They're really hard for me to truly accept right now but I do appreciate it.

Thanks Caulkhead for sharing. I'm sorry to hear you too know and understand the struggles of self harm but it's good to know I'm not alone. I starting reading a book before called Sacraments of Healing and it mentioned the struggles of self harm. That too helped, to know that even clergy men and women struggle with these issues.

FaithLoveandGrace Sun 07-Dec-14 19:54:51

I've arranged to meet with someone tomorrow to talk over things. Problem is I'm now panicking and tbh I have no idea what to say! Can I ask for your prayers that God may help me and give me the strength to reach out to people in RL please?

Dutchoma Sun 07-Dec-14 19:59:24

Yes, certainly FLaG. You will feel better once you get it out in the open.

QofF Sun 07-Dec-14 20:19:16

Hope it goes well faith and will pray that you find the words to help you reach out. Agree 100% with the cliche, if you are struggling and ads help then take them. You are not expected to have super human endurance or resistance to mental health issues just because you have a faith, the same as you wouldn't expect to be immune from physical illnesses for that reason.

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