A couple days ago I got the unrelenting urge for a Frappuccino. I drove up to the Starbucks drive-thru, placed my order, and waited 6 minutes before I actually made it to the window. But that’s not the point. What I saw when I got to the window is why I’m writing this.
When I pulled up to the window, the cashier slid open the glass and flashed a smile. She was a pretty, young black girl with gentle eyes that grinned even when her lips were not. As she handed me my change, I noticed a countless amount of scars on her arm. They were each about 2 inches long and were visible from her wrist to her elbow. My heart fell as I realized she was a victim of self-harm. The cuts covered her arm completely and there was hardly a space visible that was not a swollen scar. Then I saw it. SCREW UP etched sloppily into her arm. I don’t know how I didn’t see it before, but then it was clear as day. And it hurt me.
I have never been subjected to behavior of this sort, which I am very grateful for, and I did not know if I was stepping on a bed of nails, but I asked her about it.
If you don’t mind my asking, I said just as she handed me my drink, what are all the scars on your arm? I asked innocently even though it was clear what they were.
She lowered her head slightly, sighed, and then looked back up at me. I self-harmed for about ten years. I got this tattoo to cover the scars up as much as I could, but yeah. That’s it. (There was a tattoo that said “STRONGER” written across the scars.)
All the while that she was describing her decade of turmoil, she never once stopped smiling. She was happy.
Well, I said to her, I’m very glad you’re better now and I pray that God blesses you.
Thank you, she replied. Have a nice day!
In the few moments that I spent talking to this woman, I realized an eternity of things. People everywhere, men and women alike, feel rejected, alone, and like they are the biggest screw-up that’s ever existed. The voices in their heads tell them this and push them to mutilate their own bodies.
It pained me to see a person that had experienced this. Even so, I saw that she had made it to the other side. She was happy again, and you can be too.
So to the people out there that have once self-harmed or are still doing it, let me say this:
You aren’t your failures and you aren’t your mistakes.
You ARE your victories and you ARE your best days.
You aren’t your depression and you aren’t the lies you’ve been told.
You ARE beautiful and you ARE stronger than the chains that bind you.
You aren’t your fear and you aren’t less than.
You ARE amazing and you ARE loved.
You CAN overcome this and you WILL see better days.
Don’t give up on who you are meant to be, because self-harm is not really you. You can make it and you will come out better than you can even imagine. I love you and Jesus loves you too. Don’t ever feel forgotten or alone because He is always right by your side. Keep your head up and and a smile on your face. You can do this.