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Why I Cut, and How I Stopped

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Editor’s note: If you struggle with thoughts of self-harm, the following post could potentially be triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

So many people wonder why some people cut. For me, the answer is obvious. It’s addicting. It’s my escape, but I suppose when I think about it, these answers sound strange to non-cutters. So, I guess I’ll explain to make you understand better.

First let me say, I was always a person who couldn’t bear physical pain. Getting an injection or blood test was always my worst nightmare. It would take hours of encouragement until I was still enough for the nurse to poke me with her tiny needle. There’s no doubt physical pain is one of my biggest terrors.

So why would I purposely inflict pain on myself? I have depression. For those of you who don’t know what this is or think it’s just a fancy word for sadness, I describe depression as a feeling of a deep sadness that’s miserable and makes you feel bad about yourself. It is such an overwhelming feeling, sometimes you’re unable to carry on life’s daily challenges. This overwhelming feeling of sadness lasts months and sometimes even years.

After feeling like this for so long, many people just can’t bear it anymore. For others, like me, we don’t want to die. So we try to find other ways to numb our emotional pain, and cutting is one of them.

I knew cutting wasn’t good for me and it’s not considered a “normal” thing. Eventually, the good feeling I had felt at the beginning was no longer there. I knew I had to stop but I didn’t know how or at least I thought I didn’t know how.

I want to share with you some of the steps I took that helped me stop.

1. Find something else to do whenever you have an urge.

For example, whenever I feel like cutting myself,  I throw ice-cubes at the bath. I know it sounds silly. I thought so too at the beginning. I didn’t bother trying it for ages because I was sure it wouldn’t work. But it worked wonders! I still use this trick now. Somehow watching the ice break and hearing the bang as it hits the bath lets off steam.

2. Set a goal for yourself.

For me, at first I tried to go a day without cutting, but as that was too hard, I pushed it down to a few hours. Once I had gotten through those hours, I rewarded myself a bar of chocolate (you can use whatever you like). I gradually set higher goals and rewarded myself with bigger prizes. It took time, but I promise you that it’s possible.

3. Throw out all the knives and razors in the house.

I know this one sounds like going a little too far, but truthfully, it’s the most logical solution. Yes, you will have hairy legs and not be able to cut your vegetables until you’re able to control your impulse.

So far I have gone three weeks without cutting and I feel great. At the beginning, it was hard. It really was, but if I managed to stop so can you! I hope I have helped you, whether you are a worried friend or you are cutting and want to stop.

Whoever you are, I promise you, everything will turn out OK. Even though right now life may look like a never-ending dark tunnel, it will be OK. Just remember, there’s always light at the end of a tunnel.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Originally published: July 30, 2016
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