Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could live to be 22 and happy and semi-normal. Especially living a life that was SI-free.
In hindsight I realized I hurt myself because I couldn’t handle the weight of living. I felt like a slave. I felt condemned to carry my burdens alone the rest of my life, and SI was the best way I could cope. For my first 20 years of life, suffering seemed an inescapable reality. My trust in adults was broken at a young age, so I kept everything I was dealing with to myself. My self-esteem was destroyed from early on, and I felt worth less than a pile of dirt. I felt trapped by my circumstances and was losing myself every passing year.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with SI in itself. SI became a vehicle to help me survive those years. It was a reflection of the suffering that I endured during at that time.
I noticed many people here are in their teens, and struggle with SI. Before you become an adult it is easy to feel trapped in your circumstances, because your whole life up to that point you haven’t had any control of your own life. This can happen at any age, actually.
I’m 22, and the burden of living hasn’t changed. Suffering is guaranteed in this world. But I’m better somehow because I endured it and have come to trust a small amount of people and God. As I shifted from my teenage years to adulthood I was given freedom by Christ, and in turn peace of mind. I don’t have to carry my burdens alone anymore.
I never made a conscious effort to stop hurting myself, it just gradually stopped as I grew into an understanding of my freedom in this world. I can never be enslaved again by despair or the burdens of the world again. Jesus guided me to that state of mind, even when I was angry at Him for letting me suffer. This isn’t an altar-call to follow Jesus. I don’t even know what I believe right now. I am just grateful that Jesus saved me from killing myself. That’s all.
Freedom is uncomfortable and can be painful. I hope everyone here on this website gets to experience this freedom from SI. Happiness does exist, even amongst suffering. There is hope.
Person [female, 22, began to SI at age 11, college grad]