How do you handle being overwhelmed? How do you handle when life puts in situations over which you have no control? Jamie was experiencing, had been experiencing these feeling for a while now. School, life, work - it was so much to handle. Jamie was desperate for control over some part of life.
When overwhelmed, when desperate, some people will do anything for a measure of control in their lives, including injure themselves. One in five men and one in five women will engage in self-injury, often beginning as teenagers. While cutting is often thought of as the most common form of self-injury, other methods can include burning, breaking bones, scratching, bruising, drinking something harmful, or pulling out clumps of hair.
Self-injury or self-harm is a coping mechanism, often to deal with emotional stress. It allows the individual to exert, feel, and see a modicum of control in their life. Being a Christian does not exempt one for experiencing these struggles, nor does it provide an instant cure to all of life's problems. But it does provide a starting point.
casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. (1 Peter 5:7, AMP)
To begin, talk to God! (Of course this is good advice at any point in life!) Tell Him of your problems, your anxieties, whatever is overwhelming you! And do not be afraid to seek out additional help! Find a trusted friend, a church leader, or a therapist to help you. It is not weakness to seek out help, but a strength to recognize that there are things in life that cannot be handled on one’s own!
Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love]. (Galatians 6:2, AMP)
Beloved, let us [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience]. The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] (1 John 4:7-8, AMP)
If you are a person sought out for help, listen! Do not be judgmental or condescending. Listen! Ask what you can do to help! Respond out of love, just as we are directed. If you feel unqualified to help, offer to accompany the person to someone else. Ask God for wisdom on how to respond.
March is Self-Injury of Self-Harm Awareness Month. Take time this month to pray for all who may be struggling. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to someone who you may help.