Reading the Bible as a Mentally Ill Person

I remember when I was given a “proper” Bible. I was about thirteen and the Gideons had come round to my school, handing out pocket New Testaments in the NIV translation. I don’t think I really read it at that time, aside from when we were covering Mark’s Gospel in RE class, but I have […]

Self-Injury: Sinful?

I first self injured when I was 14. It became a bigger part of my life when I went through an acute episode of bipolar disorder (mostly characterised by depression) when I was 21/22, and I became a Christian at 22. Since then I have occasionally self harmed – though not with the same intensity […]

Justice for the Sick and Disabled

I rarely get angry, but the current political situation in the United Kingdom is something that has been making me very angry. At present, the rhetoric and policy surrounding sick and disabled people has been devastating to a population already more likely to live in poverty. State benefits needed by disabled people to meet the […]

When The Unquiet Hours Depart

When the unquiet hours depart And far away their tumults cease, Within the twilight of the heart We bathe in peace, are stilled with peace. The fire that slew us through the day For angry deed or sin of sense Now is the star and homeward ray To us who bow in penitence. We kiss […]

Benefits of Bipolar

I honestly thought I would never in my life write that there are any benefits to being bipolar. The very worst times of my life have been when I have been unwell, and my life has been forever changed because of my illness. Now, some ten years since diagnosis, I have come to a position of wellness. […]

Spiritual Sticking Plasters

There are times when we (and I mean we, I include myself in this) use Christian terms, concepts and Scriptures as a spiritual sticking plaster on a very big wound. There are times when we over-simplify complicated issues, slap a verse on it from a topical index in our minds, and think we have solved the […]

Self Injury: Attention Seeking?

Self injury is not the hidden condition it once was. The sterling efforts of doctors, academics and patients have led to a widespread understanding of self injury as a means by which some people cope with their emotions, or trauma. At present it is a recognised symptom of borderline personality disorder (emotionally unstable personality disorder) […]

Healing in the Evening

At even when the sun was set The sick, O Lord, around thee lay; O in what divers pains they met! O with what joy they went away! Once more ’tis eventide, and we Oppressed with various ills draw near; What if thy form we cannot see? We know and feel that thou art here. […]

The Gerasene Demoniac (Mark 5:1-20)

There are not many accounts in the Bible of people self-harming and this story, in Mark 5:1-20 of a possessed man living in the tombs, whose encounter with Christ led to a complete change in his life, has always caught my attention. I would like to tackle this a couple of ways. Firstly I would […]

Jesus of the Scars

This is a poem by Edward Shillito (1872-1948) which, as a recovering self-injurer, has special meaning to me: Jesus of the Scars If we have never sought, we seek Thee now; Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars; We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow; We must have Thee, O Jesus […]