Self-Harm Part 1: My Cutting Story

paper skin

I cut my skin, yet it’s my heart that hurts.

It started one day by accident.  I was having another bad day, another day of being lonely, another day of pain. I was sitting on the floor in my bedroom trying to shake these reoccurring feelings. Tears ran down my face, yet I felt nothing.  I had cried so many times; the tears seemed useless. In the next moment I felt something.  I looked down and saw blood. I had accidently cut my arm (on a pair of scissors sitting in a mess on my floor).  At first I thought, oh crap I cut my arm, but when the blood came I felt surprisingly good.

So, I cut my arm again and again, and they were no accidents.   I never thought I would be able to cut myself.  I wasn’t that person, but it was easier than I could have imagined.  I was that person and realized anyone could be that person.  It got easier each time I cut.  The urge continued getting stronger…I had become a “cutter”.

At first I wanted to keep it to myself; I was embarrassed and ashamed. Then someone noticed the marks on my arm.  They were shocked.  I thought that I would be upset that someone knew, but I realized that I liked getting the attention. I didn’t want to feel so alone anymore.  I liked being noticed.  Cutting gave me a release; it was an instant high.

Problem solved right?               WRONG               I still felt sad, I still felt l lonely.

What could I do?  Keep cutting?  Cutting was a cycle that kept repeating, but it was getting me nowhere.   What was the cutting really doing for me?  NOTHING (except giving me scars and the potential to cut a vein and kill myself).

Cutting is a temporary fix.  It does NOT solve any problems, it only creates more.  I did get some attention for it, but it was negative attention. It scared and freaked people out; they couldn’t understand why I would hurt myself.  They thought it meant I wanted to die.  I wasn’t suicidal; I just wanted the release so my pain would stop.

I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t want the life I was living either.

What I knew as a teenager:  I knew I needed to stop.   I knew that even though my parents did not like it, it did not make them step up and help me (which I secretly wanted).  I knew I was not suicidal, and I knew it was up to me to stop, but how?  I knew I was in too much pain to really care.

What I didn’t realize:  It was actually making my life more painful, more complicated and even more out of control.

What I know now:  Now that I am an adult, I know that cutting never helped me deal with or fix my real issues.  I have scars that I have to see and live with everyday.  They remind me of a dark period in my life, but they also remind me that I got through it.  IT WAS SO NOT WORTH IT!

I can say I WAS a cutter, past tense.  I have not cut for many, many years and I will never cut again.  Cutting is not a solution to any problem; it only causes more problems.  You don’t want to layer problems on top of others. Most times the main reason for cutting is to mask pain.  Instead of cutting, I had to learn ways to cope with my pain and urges and learn my triggers.

You need to find healthy ways to get rid of your pain.  Find the cause and then make a solution.

This was 25 years ago, at a time when it was not as common and definitely not talked about.  Every year more and more teens are cutting.  My hope is that everyone can learn to handle their pain, know they are worthy and loved, and stop cutting.  There is never a reason to self-harm.  NEVER

I know that some people are starting to cut because their friends do.  I can’t believe this is happening.  Cutting is not popular. Cutting is never the solution.  Following others is never the answer either.

I wanted to share with you a little bit of my story.  I had some pretty dark days and it wasn’t easy.  I’m not going to go into all of those details here; it would not serve a purpose.  We all have our own stories, but I wanted to share with you that I am a survivor and I believe that you are too.

Please leave a comment and let me know how you feel.  If you would like to share your story send us an email.

Make sure you come back next Friday to check out Self Harm Part 2: The Next Step.

– NBL V –



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