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I Overcame Self-Destruction.

Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 3
We all have a self-destruct mode. You see it in the tragic suicide story that the newscaster politely attempts to explain. You see it in the husband and father who turns to the bottle after his office boots him out the door. You see it even in the sorry child who hands over to her mom her most favorite toy as a form of self-inflicted punishment after an act of disobedience. Self-destruction is all around us. It comes not from our circumstances, but rather our guilt; that misconception that the world has turned on us because of our wrong-doing and redemption is only found when we mercilessly inflict punishment on ourselves. But is it really so?
One thing that I have learned throughout my first year of a secondary Texas education is that the world is a big place. Though I had so often felt that the world was my enemy, I have realized now the illogic behind that statement. Not only is it simply impossible, it is a ridiculously harsh statement. A few tardies to class, a disappointing grade here and there… has Russia begun a nuclear war against me? So my boyfriend feels unloved, my friends have moved on and my mom beats me relentlessly with scarring words… did Obama decide to pluck me by the arm and flick me out of the country? Of course not! It would be ridiculous to think that superpowers like themselves would even contribute a fraction of their thoughts to small failures of mine. But isn’t that what we do to ourselves every day? We are our own worst critic, as they say, and also our own worst enemy.
Now, before this great realization of mine, I believed it was my duty to inflict harm on myself as punishment for my disappointing sinful behavior. I even went so far as to lock myself in my bathroom and hack at my arm with a toothed headband until I bled and ached; however, after that foolish decision I could no longer even remember what had shaken my world so much that I would be compelled to act so drastically. To this day I do not remember. But that is the nature of a teenager, is it not? We act on impulse and we put passion into everything we do. (Well, maybe not schoolwork.) But we, believing ourselves to be fully matured and independent, act as if wearing blinders, often thinking only of ourselves and those immediately around us. Our view of the full extent of the actions we make and the effect they will have in the future is clouded. We live in a generation concentrated on the here and now.
It is not only this generation that portrays the teenage impulsiveness; if Romeo had only pondered the situation for a few moments longer, Juliet would have awoken from her slumber and all would be well in their world. The poison would remain untouched, the sword unsoiled by blood. But no! They took their own lives in acts of self-destruction.
I had thought I was strong when I ripped the skin off of my wrist. I swallowed the pain and saw only strength in myself. However, when the high of rebellion and pain wore off, I cried for hours over my pure stupidity. How could I? What was I thinking? Did the blood slowly coloring my tattered skin solve anything? I was still curled up on the bathroom floor with tears trickling down my face. My situation had not altered, my problem was not solved. I threw my body into self-destruct mode and what was the outcome? More pain than I had originally had. (And a pretty little scar to remind me every day of how foolish my teenage mind really is. How nice.)
All this year, the only thing keeping me from what all of us desire (success, happiness, fulfillment, love...) was me. When the times got tough, I put myself on self-destruct mode. As I sat in my region band audition room I told the flute player next to me every weakness I had and explained to her in great detail why I would not make it so that, if my fate were to be so, I would not be hurt because I had expected the failure rather than been caught off guard by it. When my friends became distant from me, I spoke to them less and less, believing that if I happily tried to ignite a conversation they would raise their eyebrows and walk away with a shake of their heads. When the guy I liked still found interest in another girl, did I accept the fact and move on? No, I believed that it was my fault for “not being good enough.” I brought failure upon myself all year because I truly thought that I was protecting myself. It was the common teenage mindset that “no one can hurt me if I hurt myself first!” and I was a blind victim of it. How did I overcome this auto-abuse? Through the acceptance of one very simple fact:
I am small and the world is big. But ever above me lives a bigger God with an even bigger amount of love and, most importantly, forgiveness. It is no longer my duty to punish myself for my wrong-doings; that power belongs to Him; He who loves me with a relentless, fatherly love. He might give me a flick in the nose every now and then, but He punishes those whom he loves and means only the best, as most parents do. Looking back at my year, I see ghosts of successes that could have been if I had only stopped and taken a moment to really think about it. And now, through extensive thought, a growing love for my inner self and God’s crazy love and forgiveness, my old wounds are healed and my self-destruct mode has been disconnected and thrown into the wind. I. Have. Overcome.
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