From Our Readers
New Format for Awake! Last night I finished reading the January 2006 issue of Awake! I really like this new format! Awake! is now more of a study magazine, with a design that compels the reader to think. From cover to cover, I can see Jehovah’s hand in furthering our spiritual growth.
B. N., Canada
I am 16 years old. The new features in Awake! will aid us greatly in studying the Bible. Some articles have a series of questions to help the reader ponder over what he has read. I enjoy using Awake! for my school assignments. I hope you continue to provide such wonderful and useful information for us.
S. N., Namibia
Sustained by My Faith—Living With ALS (January 2006) After reading the experience of Jason Stuart, all my problems seemed to become insignificant. I came to realize that Jehovah values the service we render to him according to our circumstances. I admire Jason’s wife for her self-sacrifice and her trust in Jehovah. This experience will always remain in my heart and will help me to face problems that arise in the future.
I cried after reading Jason’s story, not only because I was touched when I read of his ordeals but also because, as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I am so proud to have such a spiritual brother. From the article, I see the importance of preparing for trials, since “time and unforeseen occurrence” can befall any one of us.—Ecclesiastes 9:11.
T. A., Hungary
I lost my mother in death to ALS. Jason’s experience therefore touched my heart. His example encouraged me to continue putting forth my best in my ministry. I pray that Jehovah will continue to strengthen this brother and his wife.
The fact that Jason spent his time immersed in personal study when he was well, and thus had a spiritual reserve to draw upon when he needed it, made me think. It strengthened my determination to be more zealous in my personal study of the Bible.
Y. M., Japan
Young People Ask—Why Do I Hurt Myself? (January 2006) As a youth I struggled with drugs and alcohol, but the most difficult problem I have had to deal with is hurting myself. It has been a constant battle, but articles such as this one have given me the strength to endure. Words cannot express my appreciation.
E. C., United States
Self-harm has been part of my life since my teen years. I am now 56 years old. I stopped my habit of self-injury four years ago, but sometimes my problems are so great that I long to do it again. This article has reached the very core of my heart. It will enable people like me to make our lives livable again.
Name withheld, Netherlands
I am 17 years old and would like to thank you for this article. Self-injury is my problem. Recently, I cut myself again. Afterward, I approached my mother and asked her to pray with me. Despite this problem, I have learned that Jehovah has affection for me. Your article is a great help, and I am thankful to God for it!
N. M., Czech Republic
“This cannot possibly be!” That was my reaction upon seeing this article. I am 18 years old. I have been a self-injurer. Pain helps me to suppress my emotions. Quite often I feel like torturing myself, and I don’t know how to battle those feelings. It was a big surprise to see this article. Tears welled up, and I thanked Jehovah in prayer. Only in Jehovah’s organization is it possible to find such comfort!
A. P., Russia
At the age of 14, I began to ease my emotional pain by means of self-injury. Once, I even had to go to the hospital because of it. Keeping a diary has greatly helped me to keep my symptoms in check. Also, when I feel tempted to self-injure, I call an understanding friend. Prayer has been especially helpful. And when I feel unworthy to pray, friends and Christian elders have prayed with me. It is a difficult battle, but I have learned how to cope with it and accept all available help so that I do not have to hurt myself.
N. W., Germany
The picture on the first page of this article showed a girl pulling her hair, and the article mentions “Sara,” who pulled out her hair to inflict punishment on herself. My daughter has a disorder known as trichotillomania, a condition that is characterized by pulling out one’s hair. This condition is related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is triggered by a compulsion, not by the desire to hurt oneself. Hair pulling is not a stepping-stone to cutting.
M. H., United States
“Awake!” responds: The term trichotillomania, coined in the late 19th century, refers to a behavioral disorder that is characterized by the irresistible urge to pull out one’s hair. As our picture attempted to illustrate tastefully, hair pulling has been used by some as a means of self-injury. However, this does not mean that everyone who engages in compulsive hair pulling is the type of self-injurer described in our article. As the above reader points out, sometimes the habit is more closely related to obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In any event, some experts explain that the motivation for trichotillomania must be taken into consideration so that treatment can be tailored to the needs of the individual sufferer. Thus, it may be wise for those who have this problem to consult a medical professional to obtain a personal diagnosis and a plan for treatment.
How Would You Answer? (January 2006) I am so excited about this new feature! We teach our grandchildren, and this will be a great supplement to their daily Bible reading and Awake! articles that they read as part of their school assignments. Thank you for caring so much for the young ones.
B. E., United States
This feature is challenging, but when I figure out an answer I’m really happy! Last night I spent the whole evening reading this page; it was so interesting! When I grow up, I would like to help make this magazine so that others can learn about Jehovah!
D. H., United States
I am eight years old. Our family used this page in our family study. We enjoy the research that we have to do. The “Who Am I?” part can be hard, but we like the challenge. Keep up the good work.
C. W., United States