rebelling against low expectations

How do you deal with self-harm?


ANONYMOUS WRITES: โ€‹Has anyone else dealt with self-harm? Any advice on how to work through it? I’ve been about three and a half months clean but I’m starting to want it again and I’m not sure how much longer I can go without it.

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  • Please get some accountability. Tell someone you trust what’s going on and ask them to keep an eye out for problems and to stop you headed that way.

    Ultimately, Jesus is the only thing that will satisfy your cravings. Trust him. Know that he’s paid the price for your actions. Rest in his finished work, and know that because of him, you aren’t forced to do this. Get to know Him through His word (the bible), through the local church, and by talking to him (praying ). Follow him.

    This might always be a struggle, but with the temptation He will always provide a way of escape.

  • Hi
    “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.

    I have many friends that passed for this. I think that tell to a friend about what you are thinking will help you. The bible says that is good to share our difficulties with someone.

    An other thing that I believe will help u, is think “what Jesus would do?”. this is an escape!

    An other thing that I believe will help you, is to do anything that can distract your mind about this. Do things that you like and that is good for you (do hards things). Stay with people that can help you, make friends who cares with you (Jesus is The good friend!).

    Pray for God that help you, and I’m praying for you too!!

  • Dear Anonymous,

    There is no trite or easy answer to give you. My main word of advice is to open up about your struggles to someone who can help you – particularly an adult. Talk to your parents. Be open with your mentors or counselor. If you need help, please, please ask. People who love you will want to help. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be afraid. Be open and honest.

    As good as this online Rebelution community is, you need someone near you to love you and counsel you and hold you accountable.

    We all have different struggles, but God has not forced us to struggle alone. You may in fact be harming yourself more if you keep this from those who can help. I am praying for you, that you would have the courage to speak up and get help from those nearby. ๐Ÿ™‚

    In Christ Alone,

  • I haven’t dealt much with self-harm but i do understand that talking to someone about your troubles really helps you. “Therefore
    confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may
    be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
    James 5:16. When you confess, about anything, all of a sudden that
    burden becomes some much lighter. At my youth camp this year my youth
    leader, I, and some others talked deep stuff, stuff that hurt your
    spirit. And it was amazing how much better you felt when you finally
    told somebody about your burden. But all I got to say is tell
    somebody. If you have a youth leader that you trust tell him/her, if
    you have a group of friends talk deep stuff with them. Don’t keep it
    inside. It’s the act of keeping the secret that harms you more than the
    secret itself.

  • Dear Anonymous,

    I am praying for you too. I hope I can engage more with you (and others here) when I have more time, but I wanted to at least pass along a resource from a ministry I highly respect.

    It’s a free online course and mentoring program from Setting Captives Free. This course focuses specifically on self-harm. It’s called, “By His Wounds.”

    Many people have found lasting freedom from self-harm by going through this 60-day interactive course, and I sincerely pray that you will be one of them:

    Your brother in Christ,

  • First off, I want to say I’m praying for you. I know this is a really hard thing to go through, and from experience, I want to say: it really did help me to talk to someone, especially when the other party involved knew what I was going through (as in, they had been through that sort of struggle, too).

    I would agree with @programguy:disqus in the matter about needing to feel something, and that I felt like I needed to punish myself. I felt like I didn’t deserve anyone’s kindness or friendship. I felt like it would somehow pay for any mistakes I’d made, but it only left me feeling more empty inside.
    That’s how it was for me. When I was really convicted, I had peace deep down that whispered, “It’s going to be okay.” And after that, I didn’t even want to anymore.

    Sorry for dumping all that out, but I figured: hey, if I found hope, you most certainly can. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (Hope that helped, even a little bit)

  • I have to echo @mimeforjesus:disqus and tell you that I’m praying for you!!!! I TRULY am!! Any advice I would give is just echoing what has already been said… but just know this: You CAN overcome it!! Don’t feel defeated!! I haven’t personally experienced this, but I have a friend who has. I watched this friend struggle with this for a time. But with the help of their parents, church family, and ultimately God my friend come out a victor in the end!!! It CAN be done…through Christ! (Philippians 4:13….)

    • Hey @disqus_Sh6PyJ3MsP:disqus are your parents missionaries or are you with teen missions? I remember you saying that you live in Zambia and I was just wondering who you were with( organization or family)?

      • Hey Caleb! =D We aren’t with Teen Missions, however, we live barely a mile from the facility here! We are with an organization called Wiphan Care Ministries based out of Atlanta. They provide a meal and christian education for orphans and they provide skills training for widows! =) Here’s the link to their website!

        • That is so cool! I was adopted from a Russian orphanage so anything that has to do with helping Orphans gets me excited! So did you have to learn to speak the regional African dialect or do you have a translator?

          • =D That’s super awesome!!! I REALLY want to adopt when I have a family! Actually, if I had my way I probably would’ve adopted a handfull of these kids already! ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL And yes, we are learning the tribal language here,Bemba! But most people speak a least a little English.. =) We don’t have a translator per-say, but different people we are with who speak both languages help when we don’t understand..But we’re getting better! =D I also have a blog that gives some info and our family has a website! =) (my blog)
   (our fam’s site)

  • I have dealt with a lot of self harm. I still have trouble with it but it is getting better. I usually was angry with myself. I would feel like I was worthless and that I had no future. I felt like a pool about to overflow with anger so I felt like if I hurt myself some of the anger would drain away. My parents didn’t even know about this for a year. I haven’t hurt myself in about 2 months and I’ve been doing better with anger control. This is completely unrelated to this question but does the Rebolution still have a boys’ forum? I have a question specifficly for guys and it’s not appropriate to say around both genders.

  • Dear Anonymous (and anyone else that shares in this struggle),

    First off, I am so so proud of you for being clean for so long. Starting the stopping is so incredibly difficult. You are so strong.

    I cannot emphasize enough the need for professional help, if you are not already getting it. Find a good Christian counselor or therapist with whom you can develop trust. They can give you guidance in a way that your family and friends cannot because they are on the outside of the situation, and have medical experience and training.

    Getting professional help can also help you get to the root of the problem, instead of just trying to stop self-harming and leaving the causes of that behavior to continue to grow. They can also give you practical ways to encourage yourself to not self-harm.

    I too have struggled with self-harm, and slightly more complicated self-destructing behaviors that some people classify as self-harm. Sometimes the longer you go without the behavior, the harder it seems to resist. I encourage you to get other people involved at that point. I have literally asked friends to hold my hands so that I cannot do something to myself. Get accountability. That does NOT mean to tell anyone and everyone- not necessarily. Find people you trust with your story and your struggle, and ask for their help.

    You absolutely can do this, but you can’t do it alone. Thankfully we don’t have to try to do this on our own.

    Also, find ways to express how you feel. Trying to bottle up that desire to self-harm will only make it consume you. Draw something that represents how you feel. Write about it. Tear up paper until you can’t because it’s too small. Find a way that allows you to work through how you are feeling without hurting yourself. It doesn’t feel the same as self-harming, but it will help you when you can feel yourself getting close to doing it. I also find ways to remind myself to ignore the voices in my head that say that I can’t keep fighting. Most days I have something written on my wrist (where I can see it all the time) along the lines of “You’ll be okay.” A constant reminder that no matter what happens, I will be okay. Another suggestion is to write your favorite verse or one that is especially poignant to you in this situation. There is a verse in Luke that applies so directly to the type of behavior I struggle with that it sometimes feels as though it was added in later just for me. Find something that you identify with that strongly and cling to that for encouragement.

    You are not alone in your struggle.

    You are not broken.

    You are loved.

  • First I want you to know that there are so many people who care about you. (even on here)! I’ve struggled with depression, and now, (for the most part) escaped it’s strong grip. It is a very difficult pit to escape from, so like others have said, you are so strong. Keep going!

    The only way I was able to escape my depression was by

    1. Praying, and

    2. Talking to someone you trust about it. (parent, relative, friend, pastor, spiritual mentor)

    Sharing with someone how you feel about life and what you’re going through may not seem like it would help, but it takes such a load off of your shoulders. That is why God said that it was not good for man to be alone in the beginning.

    God gave people to us so that we could help carry each other’s burdens. You’ve made a great start by asking for advice from here!

    I am praying for you (I truly am)! And even though I’ve never met you, know that I care about you and your health. Stay strong!

    My favorite Bible verse for when I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders is Isaiah 40:28, 29, and 31:

    ‘Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’

    • It’s basically what it sounds like…sometimes when a person is really sad they will hurt themselves as a way of dealing with it. Many people resort to inflicting physical pain on themselves, such as making cuts with a knife. Some people hurt themselves just a little bit, some a lot.

  • First, I applaud you for staying clean for so long and for reaching out to find help! That’s a big deal, and many steps in the right direction, regardless of any relapses.

    I don’t know if this is something that would help or not…but if you email me at [email protected] I can give you my number to text the next time you need someone…to vent or give encouragement. You may not be comfortable doing that but I thought I’d offer just in case ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve heard that people self-harm because it releases good chemicals in their brains and can actually make them feel sort of happy in a way. However, I’d propose to maybe making a list of things you can do for comfort, distraction, or happiness instead of self-harming. I don’t really know anything about this, but just though i’d throw that out there.

  • I can’t recommend the By His Wounds course by Setting Captives Free enough!!! I just started it 6 days ago and it has been amazing and so encouraging. It is a free program and very Christ and bible centered. Praying with you that you can fight self harm!

  • Self-harming, in my opinion, is another way to give yourself control. I had someone take control away from me. Cutting helped give me control, but what I didn’t know was that God was in control of my entire life. It took my family and church family to get me through my hard time…. The first thing I did was decided not to cut.. I was so tired of the question,” What happened to your wrist?” I was tired of having to wear long sleeves in the summer. I was tired of feeling guilty. And if you are anything like me, you are tired of having that emptiness inside you, caused by self-harming. That emptiness needed to be filled with Christ. I soon realized that I wasn’t in control of cutting myself anymore… cutting was in control of me. It had taken me over… I had come to a crossroad. I was either going to push myself to not cut or I was going to continue the path that I was on and suffer for the rest of my life. Continuing on the path that I was on, was like drinking a bottle of poison and expecting it not to kill me. I had people in my life that I could go to and ask for help. I needed someone to hold me accountable for these sins. I most definitely couldn’t have done it without them. One of my greatest friends (I would consider family) told me as I was struggling with cutting, “Jesus took those cuts for you. HE was cut for YOU so that you don’t have to cut.” That was the beginning of my healing. It is crazy that someone loves us SO MUCH that He was tortured and died for us. Because of Him, you have the power not to self-harm. You have the power of self-control. I RAN to God in my distress and He saved me. HE saved my life in so many ways. One day as I was struggling with self-harm, a song came on the radio. It’s called,” Speak life.” The words to that song are SO powerful. “Speak life, speak life to the deadest darkest night. Speak life, speak life, when the sun won’t shine and you don’t know why. Look into the eyes of the broken hearted, watch them come alive as soon as you speak HOPE, you speak LOVE.” This song really got to me. Being a believer means that you have given yourself to Christ. Inside and out, your body is God’s temple. It is not your own, but was bought with a price. It is owned by Christ now and when we try to destroy it, something else is trying to kill you, not Jesus. I just want to tell you and everyone else out there who may be struggling with self-harm.. YOU are a survivor! You have been saved by our savior Jesus Christ and you can do this!

  • Hi. First off I just want to clarify I’m not the anonymous who posted this question and any advice I give is based off my own struggle with self harm. I’m glad to hear that you’ve managed to stay clean for so long. I know this has been said numerous time, but one of the most important things to do when trying to stop self harming is to have someone you trust and can talk to. I’m blessed to have a friend/mentor who i can talk to and it has helped enormously. Other things I find helpful are doing something else with my hands that I have to pay attention to, and being with other people when I feel most like self harming. A hobby can help a lot and be used as a coping mechanism, drawing,writing, singing, etcetera. Basically anything you enjoy doing that can distract you from self harming and express your emotions in a non destructive way. I really hope this helps anyone who needs it and I’m praying for you.

  • My self-harm of choice is cutting, so this may be more or less helpful to you depending on how you do it. But I’ve been clean for about as long as you, and there are two things that help me: friends and Sharpies (seriously).

    The Sharpies thing is actually something I saw on Tumblr – if you feel like cutting yourself, draw something on your skin in Sharpie instead. I’ve drawn everything from a tiny cross to huge swirling designs all down my arms, depending on how bad I wanted to cut. It doesn’t sound like it will do much, but it really does help, especially if you’re really pale like me and black Sharpie looks really dramatic.

    Also: I’ve never done the Butterfly Project (, but others have found it helpful.

    The other thing that helps me is friends. Having a few people you know will notice and care if you self-harm (or care and ask about it if you harm in a less-visible way) is a huge dissuasion for me. I also have two good friends who I will give my blades to if all else fails – one of them will just take them if he feels I’m at risk of doing something. But just having someone to talk to (whether this be a friend, someone from church, a therapist, or someone on a self-harm hotline [800-366-8288]) can help a lot.

    As far as working through it goes, if you can afford/are comfortable with going to a Christian therapist, they’re professionally trained to help people work through this kind of stuff. If not, it is possible to work through it on your own. What really helped me is setting aside large chunks of time (two hours at least) to do some “soul-searching.” I wrote out everything I was feeling and why I was feeling it – sometimes the why took a long time to discover and uncovered more feelings to process. Chances are your negative feelings will come down to 2-3 “whys.” Even knowing the reasons behind your feelings is incredibly freeing, but once you know the root of the problem, you can start fixing it.

    Hope that helps. Congrats on being clean so long! I know how hard it is, and I’m proud of you.

    • Hey @jely00:disqus how do you break self harm to someone? Recently I had been having trouble liking myself so I cut myself 10 times on my legs. I did above my knee though so my parents would not see it. I’m afraid of what they will think if I tell them and I am afraid of what this might develop into if I don’t tell. I have prayed and I really like the idea of asking a friend to take your blades when you feel like cutting. But how do you tell a friend? I have been praying and that helps a little but it would be nice to actually get an out loud response. Any thoughts?

      • I had a tiny bit of an advantage in that area – the first person I “told” actually noticed the cuts without me saying anything. Opening up the first time is always the hardest, and I got that out of the way kinda by accident. But here’s the process I’ve used to broach it to other friends:

        Before you do anything, figure out what *exactly* you need from them. Do you want them to take your blades? Be there when you need someone to listen? Ask about it without you bringing it up? For someone to find out their friend self-harms is scary and people rarely know what to do, so the more clear you can be about what will help you, the more receptive they will be to helping.

        Pick a situation (or intentionally put yourself in one) where you’re in a private or semi-private area with just the two of you, and they aren’t distracted with anything else. Then ask if you can share something really personal and serious that you’ve been struggling with. Then be blunt: “I’m struggling with self-harm, and I really need you to ___.” Then let them respond and go from there.

        Also, this may seem really obvious, but find a friend that you 100% trust. If you’re a Christian, a Christian would be best (although I’ve generally received a better response from nonchristians), but pick someone you know genuinely cares about you and won’t be scared off by serious problems. I haven’t told some of my friends and family members yet because I don’t trust that they’ll respond well.

        I hope this helps you, Caleb. I’m sorry that you’re struggling with this, and I’m so glad you’re seeking support!

  • Hey Anonymous! First off, know that I’ll be praying for you. I dealt with self-harm for awhile, it was hard to stop but here’s what helped: Getting other people involved, I was too ashamed to tell others but eventually my mom got involved, having her know helped me stay accountable and get godly counsel. So, find a godly person you trust who can help you with your problem.
    Draw close to the Father, one of the reasons I cut myself was because I had no self-worth, when I came close to God and came to know Him as Father, I realized that I was beautiful and worthy in His eyes which was enough for me. Seek the Lord and you’ll find true freedom in Him.
    Find hobbies that use your hands or body for things other than self-harm, like drawing or working-out which is a great way to release emotion.
    See if you can pin-point what’s making you want to go back to self-harm, is it because of something you’re watching, listening to or thinking about, when I figured out why I wanted to cut myself, I could stop those things and find freedom more easily. Examine what gives you those urges, talk to God and other people about them and see if it would be wise to stop those things.
    Hope I could be of some help, praying for you!

  • Hey Y’all. Not sure who will actually see this, but i wanted to thank everybody who commented on this thread. I’m not the one who sent this DQ in, but your advice has been really, super-duper helpful. Thanks guys ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Please forgive me for being so off-topic Sam, but it was hard to find you on a thread! Can you help me with my Disqus account? When I open my notifs, it won’t clear, so I have them stacking up, so now even though I’ve read them all it still says I have seven new ones. Is that something you know how to fix?

  • Hey, Sam, just making sure you know that this comment was REALLY helpful. Thanks for taking the time to write it ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Aww, thanks Sam. I appreciate that more than you may ever know ๐Ÿ™‚ Umm, i don’t really have anywhere else to talk anyways, sooo… Meh. Thank you so very much for the prayers. I loved talking to people, and pouring into other’s lives. But then one day i looked up and realized i was empty, ya know? God’s still on the Throne though. So i can smile, and say life is good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I have personally dealt with this recently and because of summer I had to stop because I wear shorts and stuff, and not doing it for so long has helped, I also flushed the things that I used to cut myself so I wouldn’t be around it, and I wore shorts and short sleeves more often as an excuse to not do it because people would see and I’d get sent back to therapy. Trust me, for your sake and for those of which you love’s sake, try and fight it. I don’t know you personally but I can tell that you are strong, as most of us are. I still suffer with depression and very severe anxiety attacks, but my life has been so much better with out self harm. I’ve been so much happier, and you will too!

  • I cut myself once…

    Luckily my grandmother saw the scars and told my parents….. They sat me down and talked to me and told me the regular story…. (Jesus already took the scars, ect.) I feel terrible because my FATHER broke down in sobs.
    I guess I saw TV shows about girls who cut and they made it seem glamorous and dramatic (which is my personality).


    Dramatic it is….

    My brother committed suicide 9 years ago so this really was a big red flag for my parents. The cuts are on my wrist so I have to constantly wear bracelets which is very annoying. A few people have asked what happened and I just shrug and say

    “It’s a long story….”

    They laugh and I can tell they’re wondering what’s going on.
    The point of this stupid rant is, if you’re thinking about cutting yourself, please don’t. It’s not helping anything!
    Venting should not leave scars.

rebelling against low expectations

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