Running Scarred


SKU ebook Category

175 in stock


By Ellie J Kerbela

ISBN: 978-1-84991-385-0
Published: 2012
Pages: 195
Key Themes: Mental Health, Abuse, Self-Harm, Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders


This is a story of pain, trauma, abuse, promiscuity and self-loathing. This is a story of mood and personality disorders, alcoholism, self-harm, sexual abuse, suicide attempts, insanity and destruction. This is also a story of hope.

“From a young age she was different to the other girls. She was an outsider viewing happiness and security from the border, seeing it but not being able to touch it. She grew up in a family where she was loved deeply and sincerely, but those that loved her were in so much pain themselves that they forgot she was only a little girl. She grew up thinking that chaos was normal, that sex meant love and that alcohol was a necessity to cope. She grew up knowing that her feelings did not matter, that her pain was unfounded and that any fears she had were ridiculous. The rage she felt inside was never directed to the source of the hurt, but instead to herself as she felt that everything was her fault. Into her teenage years alcohol, drugs and self-harm became a normal part of every day, being the only place she found solace and comfort. Nothing, not even the love for her children could save her from the path of self-destruction she was on. Her body is covered in the scars of her journey, from her legs and thighs to her arms and torso. She used to be ashamed of them; now she sees them as a reminder of her strength, the lessons she has learned and the gratitude she has today. She lives in daily amends to her children, trying to heal the wounds of the past through honesty, love and staying sober.”

I have deliberately left out many details of relationships and events that occurred, such as descriptions of houses interiors or weather. A lot of them seemed to somehow fade into insignificance of what I am trying to portray. Somehow the décor of a house felt empty and unimportant against the backdrop of destruction.

This is hopefully a story of insight, of strength and of courage, a story to inspire and a story to help you not to give up, to keep going no matter how painful and empty you feel.

A warning – This story is a potential trigger.

Book Extract

“Ellie, can you hear me? Ellie! Can you hear me? I’m a paramedic, you’ve taken an overdose. We need to get you to hospital, okay?”

I moaned. The voice of the paramedic seemed like it was in a dream, unreal somehow. The mixture of drugs I had taken had left me incapable of speech and movement. I could hear him but he sounded far, far away.

I didn’t care; someone at last was looking after me again. I could hear voices above me. I felt strong hands on my body, grabbing me under my armpits in an effort to get me up off the floor. I felt heavy and without an ounce of strength in my muscles. My head fell back and for a split second I opened my eyes. The bright kitchen light had been put on and it pierced my eyes, making them sting. I knew what I had done, but I didn’t care. The void had gone and my heart didn’t hurt anymore. Blurry edges, softened and hazy, in and out, floating through space and time unaffected and unaware of what was happening, blessed with the respite from torture.

I closed my eyes again and relaxed into the warm, safe place I had put myself, lay back in the arms of the paramedic and put myself in his hands. I was dying. My life was slipping away without me even being aware of it. All I knew and felt was that I was in heaven. I had escaped hell, I had been saved…yet I was dying from an overdose of a lethal concoction of diazepam, antidepressants, sleeping tablets, paracetamol and aspirin. I didn’t care. The pain had gone, once again the only safe haven I found was near death.


After a string of destructive, failed relationships, five overdose attempts, a myriad of scars all over my body and a history of deep, dark depression, I find myself at last in a place of love and contentment.

In my story I want to offer hope to those of you like me out there.

This is for those of you who didn’t have a childhood, who became little adults before your time through the actions of those around you, those people that were the very people who were meant to be nurturing, loving, and protecting you.

This is for those of you who are suffering the pain and torment of a broken heart and a shattered soul.

This is for those of you who find yourself screaming into your pillow in the morning because you are still alive and cannot bear to face another day in what feels like hell, and by the evening you are so consumed with the hurt and anguish in your heart that you will do anything to escape it using drinking, eating and self-harming to kill the demons that forever haunt you.

I want to show you that you can escape those demons; you can learn to love yourself and accept the past instead of living in it forever. You can find love — true, good, honest love, and you can heal your broken heart. If you hold on to hope, even if it is just a small amount down in the depths of you, you can beat the pain and you can live, at last.

Where once I saw darkness spreading out in front of me, eclipsing the sun of hope and blocking my vision to see the end of the tunnel, I now see light. I see not only the light in front of and around me, but I see the light within me. I have accepted myself for who I am. I nurture myself and treasure the child that still resides within me, I acknowledge and appreciate the strength and courage that I have had, and I am grateful for the lessons and wisdom I have gained and learned throughout my experiences.

Letting go of anger, hate and bitterness towards others and especially myself has set me free, freer than I ever thought possible, because I was always bound by ugly chains, draining the essence of my soul and filling me with such a complete lack of anything substantial that I was drowning in my own story.

In life we have choices. I never knew that before, or I never accepted it. I was so intent on blame and being a victim that I never thought to look at myself. I never thought to ask myself the question, “What do you want?” I never had the courage to look into the bleak abyss that was my heart to find the sparkle of light, the ever burning candle flame that never went out, I never saw that flame because I closed my eyes to it; I shut the door on my own voice of knowing.

A life of violence, abuse, self-loathing, blame, rage, chaos and pointlessness has come full circle to a place of peace, acceptance and serenity.

Every day I am filled with gratitude for my life and everything that has ever happened. My life has given me true gifts. The gifts of compassion, understanding, love and hope.

I will take you on a journey with me through my life. Here is my story.


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