Today is March 1, 2017. It is Self-Injury Awareness Day. As future healthcare professionals, we know and understand that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Self-injury in most cases is a plea for help.
Take a moment of your time to reach out to those you know who are struggling.
“Pitter, patter, pitter, patter”, said the rain.
I pulled my up-cycled shower curtain serving as a window drape slightly to the side. Peeking out the window revealed a strong southeast wind. The trees were alive; their branches dancing, demanding my full attention. I glanced at the tops of them. Their leaves madly swaying to and fro lulling me into some sort of hurried lullaby. The more I stared, the more confused I became by their song and dance. One minute, they decided to move so fluidly, I thought them to be part of the ocean. Like rolling waves in the summer heat. The next, they’d jump up and down as if they were trying to uproot themselves and run away from a proliferating fire. Clouds rolled quickly above me. Each one trying to beat the adjacent to some unseen finish line where they hope for rest at last.
Rest. Oh such a sweet word. Exhaustion overwhelmed my body, even after just waking. My eyes read the clock; 4:23 AM. Selfishly, I just wanted to close my eyes again and will myself back to sleep. But I knew that would never happen. My mind had already begun buzzing with thoughts and plans, schedules and errands. I glance to my right. Something shiny catches my eye. The scissors; it’s shiny length stark against the dark cover containing my Bible.
I remember the desperate words of Job I read last night. They had felt like they were my own. I shook my head in an attempt to move past it all. I wanted to forget. I wanted to remember. I wanted the truth. I wanted a lie. Why God? Why let this happen to me? Why let me do this to myself? Untangling myself from my blankets, my feet broke free and found the floor. If only my heart and mind could break their chains just as easily.
“Boom!” said the thunder.
I glanced up and smiled. God must be telling me it’s that easy to break chains. I laced up my running shoes. Hair sported in a pony-tail, I walked outside and stood beneath the overhang of my front porch. Pouring rain from the pavement threw mist onto my face and legs. My thoughts reverted back to the confused feelings from earlier. But how God? How can I break these chains that are so devastatingly comfortable?
“Crack!” said the lightning.
I step out onto the slippery pavement and straight into the storm. I feel like the battles in the sky mirrors the one inside my soul. Every element of myself pitted against the other. Every piece of my heart splitting right along with the air as the lightning cracks through. I want to cry. I want to laugh. I want to be happy. I want to hurt. Show me what I want, God! Why can’t I see the way? At which turn did I take the wrong path? How am I still here? Why can’t the rain wash away my pain?