Church Support

For and about self harmers / people with other issues

Church Support

Postby Holly » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:07 pm

Things have becomes really difficult recently, and the self harm issue that I was ignoring as ‘just a passing coping mechanism’ has grown, things are now at that cross roads point where the level of depression has meant that im struggling with suicidal thoughts, and the constant nightmares puts it an hour or two of sleep a night at the very outside, at the moment only an hour or two across a couple of days.
The CMHT aren’t of that much support, that said I’m not really sure what support would help at this point other than being aware that there are lots of things that I need to be walking through with God rather than ignoring or dealing with through CBT and ‘person centred counselling’ rather than something God centred when ultimately where my heart is with Him is the most important thing.

My church are aware that the self harm is an issue, but have left any support in that up until a point where I actively ask for help in it rather than shying away from anyone who even looks like they’re trying to come alongside. They’ve linked me with a Christian counsellor who I’ve only been seeing for a couple of weeks, so don’t really know her that well yet to begin unpacking the emotional side of things. But I’m at the point now where Im aware that I’m really in need of some help because I can barely even carry myself through the week, let alone anything that comes up during it. And at the moment, the next few days in particular are a big concern because they’re hard to handle regardless of how things are going into that. I know dates themselves have no power what so ever, but it’s difficult to ignore, and throwing myself into working and keeping busy / distracted from that isn’t proving to be that helpful because this time round, I just don’t have the energy to maintain that for long enough (much as I insist that I do). But not doing that and just ‘resting’ is a fairly scary concept knowing the thoughts and everything else that I’d have to face if I did.
I’ve no idea how they can help, but I’m going to write an email to the guy who oversees the student contingent of the church family to say ‘look, I’m really stuck, I could do with some help and support in this’. I know him pretty well, and well enough to know that his response would be ‘okay, what plan can we make so the right support is in place?’. So I thought that if I made that part of what I send him, then that would help, he’s not really one of those emotional type people, but is one for making sure those who are are around people when needed, which is kind of what’s needed here. The church I go to is quite charismatic, and are involved with large scale pastoral support, healing and sozo ministries, and numerous outreaches to people with mental health needs and addictions, so they’re more than able to adapt things to make sure the right help and accountability is in place. Except with everything feeling pretty bleak, I’m not really sure what would help right now, so I thought I would come and ask your advice and see if we could formulate this email together from peoples experiences of what has and hasn’t helped from church support, or even support you’d wanted to be there but wasn’t for whatever reason. (Sad state of affairs when you even need some help and input into knowing what help and input you need!)
Holly
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby Beautifully_Broken » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:57 pm

Hi Holly,

It sounds like you are lost and not really sure what you think would help you. I know how you feel. I find it really hard to answer someone when they say 'What can we do to help?'

Some things that have really helped me are having someone that you can be yourself with. My pastor is one of the very few people I can totally be myself with. He takes me crying, laughing, when I'm in need of support, when I just want someone to talk to. Having someone that you can be accountable to can really help, but it would need to be on the understanding that if you don't want to say anything, then that's okay too!

Another thing that has helped is forums. This one in particular. Being a part of an anonymous forum can be great. You can say how you feel and other people who you don't know understand what you are going through. Nothing can help more than someone understanding how you feel.

Don't worry about not knowing what you think will help, I think it's normal.

Hope this makes some kind of sense. Sorry if it doesn't.

Take care,

Beautifully_Broken x
With Jesus I can take it,
With Him I know I can stand,
No matter what may come my way,
My life is in your hands.

It's lonely when you don't even know yourself...
Beautifully_Broken
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby snowdrop » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:02 pm

Hi Holly

This is my 1st time posting to this board but reading your post I felt I had to overcome my anxiety about doing my 1st message. I simply wanted to say, you are so so brave knowing you need help now and feeling you can ask for it. I am in a pretty similar situation so I'm afraid I can't really offer advice but I can offer a 'shoulder to lean / cry on' or 'an ear to listen'. I've just in the past month started trying to look into becoming part of a new church as I felt little support from my previous church sadly (bar 1 or 2 very loyal Christian friends who I wouldn't be without). I've only got as far as meeting the vicar once, but I really felt 'something'; he definitely had some understanding of MH issues including SH and anorexia and depression (my main difficulties of 15 years). My medical team are trying to encourage me to become an inpatient for six months (half way across the country), but I've had 9 previous admissions (general medical, psychiatric (child and adult) and so called 'specialist') but I too have got to a point that it's got to be between me and God. This is a huge challenge though as the past two years my faith has taken a particular beating (though it is still there thank God).

Anyway, sorry, enough about me, I just wanted to encourage you - God can and will free you from this. We need to be carried by Him, listen to Him... easier said than done. Thinking of you very much and keep us posted! God Bless and hugs. xx ;)

PS. Feel free to message me if you want.
snowdrop
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby sally » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:57 pm

Hello Holly,

I'm sorry things are feeling so difficult for you just now and self harm is increasing. I'll be thinking of you especially over the next few days cos dates and times of year - even tho, as you say, not actually different from any other - can bring painful memories and emotions to the surface.

I am impressed you are approaching your church to ask for support as you recognise your struggle and anticipate these coming days. I meet with some of my church leaders regularly for prayer and they know about the SH and EDU and i find it helps me refocus on God's perspective. Their solid trust in God's love and faithfulness has encouraged me and they have always promised they are their for the long haul.

So perhaps asking for someone to meet with you - whatever frequency you feel up - where they pray for you and you can offload a bit? And don't feel you need to reciprocate with prayer for them, just receive some support.
You might want to try agreeing that you will try to do something different to distract or delay when thoughts about SH surface, but that's only in a helpful way, not a commitment or sense of failure if it doesn't change things.
Telling someone when things are feeling overwhelming can be helpful too.

None of those are specific actions but I have found them helpful at times. Others here may have more suggestions as you work out your email,

praying for you now, Sally
sally
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby asc » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:56 pm

Praying for you, Holly.

On weekdays, the helpline of Mulberry House Pastoral Centre is excellent.
Ann www.annspoetry.weebly.com / www. annssmallpets.weebly.com
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" 2 Corinthians 12v9
"You are God's masterpiece." Ephesians 2v10 God doesn't make junk!
asc
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby Holly » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:06 pm

Happened to mention to the leader's wife that this email was under consideration.
Instead, it seems that at 10am on Sunday morning we're all meeting together before the 10:30 service (so me, the youth pastor who also co-leads the church, the leader's wife, and the christian counsellor they've put me in touch with, who also goes to the same church). Eeek!
Holly
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby asc » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:35 am

Just seen which county you are. I suspect I know where you worship, as we have another former poster there - seems to be one of the most mental-health-friendly churches in the UK.
Ann www.annspoetry.weebly.com / www. annssmallpets.weebly.com
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" 2 Corinthians 12v9
"You are God's masterpiece." Ephesians 2v10 God doesn't make junk!
asc
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby sally » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:56 am

Hi Holly

I pray the meeting tomorrow is really supportive and constructive for you.
How kind of God to skip the stress of working out an email. He knows how much you are struggling and sees your pain.

Even tho it may feel daunting, remember these people are on your side and want to help. I also find keeping meetings that are stressing me in perspective - it can only last 20 ish minutes. You will survive it and there may be something good resulting from it! Hope the anticipation through today remains manageable.

Sally
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Re: Church Support

Postby Holly » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:46 pm

Asc, that's my old address, i've since moved to the west country :-)
Holly
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby Hash » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:01 pm

Holly,

I think actually all in all you have quite alot of support around you. You can agree to disagree but try and focus on what's important. The most important thing is your relationship with god and where your at with him. He can help you more than any pastor, counsellor, gp, psychiatrist, psychologist, support worker. He longs to be close to us and love us through all that we face.

Hash
Hash
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby Holly » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:13 pm

Hash there's definitely a lot of people around, i guess i'm really over cautious with the fact that i've only been at this church for about 6 weeks, and so that's a lot for the pastoral team to suddenly take on from 1 person. Feels a lot like i'm wasting their time, regardless of whether or not that's actually true.
Holly
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby Hash » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:49 pm

You won't be wasting their time, if your going to stay their they have a duty of care to support you and help you through this difficult time.

Hang in their Holly,

Hash
Hash
 
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Re: Church Support

Postby Keziah » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:12 pm

Holly I am so glad to hear that the church is reaching out to support you. I hope they can help you with what you need, especially the spiritual angle that as you say is so important. Hope meetings go ok for you.
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Re: Church Support

Postby Eppie » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:25 pm

Hi Holly

I've been away for a long weekend so am only just picking up posts from the last few days.
How did your meeting go yesterday? Was it ok for you, and did you feel understood and supported?
Sometimes the day after we open up to new people can feel really vulnerable so I hope you've been ok today.
In terms of support - could you have a think about how you'd like it delivered... for example, when I first opened up the person I spoke to offered to support me by text. It was ideal for me, as I could send texts during the day if I wanted to, but knew that she didn't have to respond until it was convenient for her, so that meant I didn't feel as if I was invading her space so much.
After a year or so I needed some face to face support and so someone agreed to meet with me about once a month, and text in between. she was also sometimes available to pray on a Sunday.
Once self harm wasn't a regular part of life anymore, but was still a huge temptation, and was usually the result of a difficult situation, I've more needed people I can call to talk through the situation with.
At times when I've struggled with food I've needed someone I can eat with.
So, depending on where you're at, you might like to ask for someone you can text, someone you can call, someone you could eat dinner with once a week, someone you could see once a week etc... these people might be open wtih you about boundaries, or if not, you might want to ask them about when it's ok to contact them, how often et, what to do when you feel it's an emergency.
E x
Eppie
 
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