Never Too Broken

By Kayla HeffnerJune 17, 2019

I am living a story, but I don’t love every chapter. People say that sharing the story of my pain will help others and bring a beauty and a peace to it. For so long, I believed them.  I thought that sharing my story would be the end of the dark chapters. No one told me that the darkness that defined parts of my life would cast shadows and images that would shape the rest of me too.

Growing up in a small town and going to a tiny church and school for the early part of my life meant that image mattered. As an adult, it continues to. I liked being the person I looked like. I liked being liked. I liked the image I embodied. I appeared shy, obedient, and generous; I volunteered and I was kind. After college I worked at a nonprofit helping at-risk women, I really loved being that person. That person appeared great. But on the inside, there was a darkness lingering that shaped the things I did behind closed doors.

I began hurting myself when I was 12. I was caught once but got good at hiding it. And although I told people I had stopped, I never really did. I attempted to take my life six different times. Depression and anxiety had taken over. I prayed so often for healing, but it never came. That didn’t stop me from telling people that I was healed though.  Being the girl who decided to live is a solid story arc, and I loved being that person, too—even if it was another lie.

Healing did come though, it just didn’t take the shape I expected it to. Healing is not a one-and-done event, it is a process. It takes time.

I had always thought that I couldn’t share my story with the purpose of helping others until I was completely healed, until the shadows were gone. And then, once I was no longer broken, I could open up about my struggles. But if I was still broken, even just a little, I couldn’t and shouldn’t share. The thing is, I wasn’t too broken though, I was healing.

Even if your healing has just begun, your story can be told. We can sit together in the hard places, we can move toward recovery alongside one another. I don’t have to be fixed for my journey to matter, and neither do you. A win is a win no matter the chapter.

So here’s my story: I still struggle every day. I go to counseling. I started taking medication. I talk to people about my struggles. I still think about dying, but I haven’t tried to die in three years. I relapse occasionally, but I have a support system in place. If healing is finite, I am far from being healed, but I am not broken. I am staying and I am fighting.

Against all odds, I’m choosing to heal.

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Comments (11)

  1. Victoria Herbert


    Your story is a beautiful, broken mess…you are worthy of healing! You matter because the blood of Jesus matters! I love you & am so joy-filled because you have chosen to stay & fight!

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  2. Derinda

    Beautiful said and written. It is a battle ❤️

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  3. Katze

    “Healing did come though, it just didn’t take the shape I expected it to. Healing is not a one-and-done event, it is a process. It takes time.”

    Yes yes yes! Prayer is powerful, but not a superpower that magically makes everything better if you wish hard enough. And healing is a long, ugly process full of decisions we have to make: will I go looking for the self-harm objects my husband hid or will I go for a walk in the woods? Will I mope on the couch alone or will I write to a friend?

    Thank you for writing this! You wrote straight from my heart. We will choose to heal.

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  4. Kelly

    Thank you for sharing your story Kayla, I resonate with everything that you speak to, especially about sharing my story when I am “broken” AND you are so right, healing takes time! I always catch myself judging my recovery when it really isn’t ever over. We just learn how to take care of ourselves better along the way and gain tools to support recovery. Powerful message girl, keep sharing!

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  5. LJ

    I like that you said that we don’t have to be fixed for our journey to matter. I never thought about it like that before. My healing is just beginning, and I haven’t believed really that my journey matters at all because I haven’t gotten it all figured out yet, but your writing makes me rethink this. “I don’t have to be fixed for my journey to matter”. I am going to write that down and hang on to it. Thanks.

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  6. Tonya

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I too have felt like o couldn’t help others until I was “fixed” myself. But I get so much inspiration from others who feel like I do. I realize it matters. We matter regardless of where we are at on our path. Reaching out to others helps and I hope I can be brave like you.

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  7. Margo Dalinghaus

    You matter. Thx for sharing ?

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  8. Via

    Thank you for this. You’re so right. The lies always flood my head that I am too broken, too messed up, too this, too that. Just tonight I was crying out to God saying “I truly don’t understand how my life can be a gift to anyone. I’m just a heavy weighted burden to everyone around me because I’m too broken for anyone to handle.”

    Your story meant a lot to me. I don’t have to be fixed for God to use me. I don’t have to hide when I feel extraordinarily low. My journey DOES matter.

    Thank you for being so bold to share your story with us. You are loved, celebrated & so beautiful.

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  9. Stormy Love, NM

    Kayla keep healing if not for your sake but for the people that do care about you. Many, if not all, never voice or show their care but they are out there! I lost my brother 10 years ago here in August to self-injury and I know he’d take it back in a heart beat if he could. I know he would have found a way to heal if he would have known what he left broken after he left. Thanks for the inspiring blog 🙂 Much Love!

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  10. Debbie Robinson

    Totally understand. I have been battling demons for almost 40 years. Many doctors, medications and hospitalizations. This was while raising a family of 2 plus my husband. Suicidal almost everyday. My daughter is bipolar also and struggling from 14 to now 26. She gets up each day and fights. Money is always an issue for appointments and medication. I use the fake it till you make it because I have no choice. …..I get it. Keep on keeping on.

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  11. Glaiza

    Reply  |  
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