Inside the life of a former cutter

What leads someone to a point of self injury is a feeling of sheer desperation. There is a feeling of overwhelming pain and fear. It is too much for one to keep inside, so the person decides to cut in order to get the pain out. It takes an extreme hatred of oneself to engage in this activity.

Like many others, I had a tough upbringing. I experienced things that I would not wish on my worst enemy. All the pain that I fell in the first years of my life came to a boiling point at the tender age of 7. I started scratching my skin until it bled. This landed me in a hospital, where I experienced a traumatic event (I will go into that at a later date). When I got out of the hospital, I moved with my father to a new town. I was in therapy and I had high hopes that I would fit in. I didn’t.

My depression increased through the years and I continued cutting. My forearms, legs and stomach were the main areas I performed self-injury. For someone who has anemia, this wasn’t a smart outlet. Despite all the complications of self-injury, I continued to do it.

I continued to self-injure through college and into my mid-to-late 20s. I started putting cigarettes out on my skin when I was in my mid-20s. That was the lowest point of my self-injury life. At the time, though, I did not care.

In 2009, after I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, I was put on a few medications. I was lucky that the medications started to work within a few months of being on them.

It is 2013, and I haven’t self-injured since 2010. I have had desires to self-injure (even recently), but, I use all my energy in positive ways, such as writing and art. Also, I think about all the love I have in my life, and how far I have come. I just cannot ruin that. I have worked so hard to get where I am at, and my hard work would be wasted if I slip up.

Self-injury is one of the major ways to show disrespect (and hatred) to yourself, your loved ones, and to God. It is extremely hard to stop when the pain you feel is overwhelming. If you, or someone you know is cutting or burning themselves, approach them with love and support. Let them talk to you about what is bothering them. Be open-minded, and do not judge. Help them to find treatment. Remember, people who are self-injurers are in a very delicate frame of mind. What a self-injurer needs is someone who understands, someone they can trust. They need to find an outlet to how they feel.

One technique that has helped me in the past is the “Rubber Band Technique.” What you do is: Find a rubber band and put it around your wrist like a bracelet. When you have the urge to self-injure, snap the rubber band against your wrist. On many occasions, this technique has always helped take away my urge to self-injure.

While I am self-injury free, I will always wear the title of a “cutter.” I cannot promise to NOT have deserves to self-injure, BUT, I do promise to outlet my pain in creative ways, such as writing, art, and the rubber band technique.

**If you are a self-injurer, and you need someone to talk to, you can talk to me. I know what you’re going through.**

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