My training in addiction counseling found me little prepared for the hurting hearts I would encounter on the job. I realized some new clients would challenge me when I went through their luggage and removed banned items. These included razor blades, along with mouthwash, hair spray, perfume, and other products containing the ingredient alcohol. However, on the first day of facilitating a support group I was surprised when the psychologist instructed me to remove the small staple from the handout material before I gave them to each resident.

The perceptive therapist read my surprised expression and without me asking her, “Why?” she offered.

“Because, Diane, some of the clients are ‘Cutters.’”

I knew staples would prick your finger if it didn’t close tight. But who would think so little of themselves as to use a small thin piece of metal to self-mutilate their body?

A Cutter would!

The recent school shooting in a neighborhood close to my home, and outcries for more accountability by mental health professionals found me probing the internet for some sign of hope.

In my search, I discovered March 1st is Self-injury Awareness Day (SIAD) also known as Self-Harm Awareness Day.

The purpose of Self-injury Awareness Day is to help people make the decision to be more open about their own self-harm. Awareness organizations also make special efforts to raise awareness about self-harm and self-injury. Some people wear an orange awareness ribbon, write “LOVE” on their arms, draw a butterfly on their wrists in awareness of “the Butterfly Project” or wear wristband or beaded bracelet to encourage awareness of self-harm. The goal of the people who observe SIAD is to break down the common stereotypes surrounding self-harm and to educate medical professionals about the condition.

I also learned the first day in March is Zero Discrimination Day. Makes me wonder how many innocent souls began to inflict acts of self-harm because they believed and accepted the stinging hatred of discrimination.

In my book, Heaven Heals a Codependent’s Heart, I addressed the deep-in-our-soul pain discrimination creates and the solution I found. “Regardless of our skin color, our Creator God will heal our physical and emotional breakdowns. With kindness in our hearts, each deliberate step we take toward Him will purge the prejudiced condition from our souls. With God, our healer, we will get better” (37-38.)

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: (Romans 8:38-39 MSG).