My Cutting Experience

It was a craving that seemed to come from my body itself. 

It was at a time when in a year I had lost my second trimester fetus and I had lost my husband in that grief.   I always thought I was especially blessed and I began to question that.  I began having week to month long migraines that were crippling.  I experienced depression and was surprised that it was not sadness, but a lack of feeling. 

At first I just wanted a sort of tribal image on my skin.  I scratched a design in my arm, and I kind of liked it.  There was no blood. 

After that, it was always a very small, very shallow scratch, but blood seeping out gave me calm and focus.  My beating heart slowed and I felt relief. 

I did not cut myself in obvious places and I did not share this behavior with anyone.  I never cut myself dangerously deeply, there was a very low  chance of infection as I was immaculately clean with disinfectant.  There was little chance of death - no more than the usual risk that we all face in our daily lives!  I did not desire infection and I did not desire death.  I desired only relief from the overwhelming emotions I was feeling.

I knew that I was seriously upset and I needed and wanted help. I was trying to get a therapist but my healthcare is very bad - you actually have to be suicidal to get a doctor!  I was not, so I had an appointment in three months.   I did not want to burden my family or friends.  That was a very long three months.

In the meantime, these small cuts allowed me to hold it all together.  I mostly functioned in my life and in my job.  I am proud that I did so well.  I did a lot of research and found a lot of information on why people self-injure. I found a lot of ignorance and unhelpful reactions as well. 

Cutting hurts a little - it was always a little bit surprising.  Ouch!  as the little slice opens up.  Hey, that hurts!  But the sight of the blood brings relief.  I sit and look at it a bit.  And then I tidy things up and get back to work. 

Eventually, I did want to cut more, and that did get scary.  If I was really upset, I imagined cutting my veins out.  That is a terrifying thought.  I would let myself nowhere near the razor blade at that time.  This is a time to cry, to call a friend, to try to distract oneself.  This only happened a couple of times when I was very upset.  But then I knew I had to stop even the little cuts, this is just not a good coping mechanism. 

I used cutting as a coping mechanism in a time that was very hard for me because I had such strong emotions that I could not seem to express elsewhere.  I was able to find other ways to cope, including exercise and emotional support.  I did yoga on a nearly daily basis for many months.  I eventually was able to get the support of a therapist - we did not discuss cutting, but I finally got someone to extend to me empathy, and assure me that my loss of a pregnancy was a real loss.  I stopped cutting becuase it held no attraction, I just didn't feel that craving. 

Now, I don't feel like cutting myself, it seems useless and ludicrous.  However, I understand why someone would do this, and I feel sad for that person and the pain that has led them to this moment.  I am glad that they are doing what they can to cope with what must be a hard situation.  I extend to them my hope for them and my blessings.
sarahleigh9 sarahleigh9
31-35, F
2 Responses Feb 20, 2007

I never had the ability to physically hurt myself, I think that in a way not being able to do somthing feels much worse I kind of felt powerless and although the scars dont show from the outside I'm was all torn up on the inside and it would build up...<br />
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I haven't really gotten over things yet but you're story is really inspiring and reading it is extremly comforting I never had the courage to blindly tear my exterior to pieces and it was alway hard for m to understand how somone else could do it so calmly... It makes a lot of sense from a different perspective

as someone who also used to cut, i found this very inspiring and powerfully written. i'm not cutting, but i'm also not coping as well as you seem to be, and i congratulate you for it!