Confession #5: I am a cutter.
. Even thought I have not cut in over 5 years, it is like any other addiction (you become addicted to the endorphins that are released when you are in pain) and therefore it will always be a struggle.
Ever since I was a child, I picked at the skin around my nails. No one ever told me not to or that it was wrong. I am telling you now- it is wrong.
I did it when I was stressed or anxious and in my house, I was stressed and anxious a lot. I would pull and peel little bits of skin. Many times I did this until I saw blood.
The blood brought a sense of relief and accomplishment. I never really thought about it as a bad thing until it escalated.
As I got older the stress and anxiety got worse. The peeling and pulling stopped bringing relief. I am embarrassed and ashamed to say I even picked scabs off. Nothing was working. My panic increased.
I remember the first time it dawned on me to use a razor blade to cut myself. My ex and I had split and he was seeing someone else. I was failing math (which meant my parents were going to kill me). My car insurance was due soon and I was broke.
Honestly, I felt like my heart was going to explode. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t think.
After picking all scabs, peeling skin, I thought my heart would stop if I didn’t find relief.
I ran into the bathroom and took a cheap one time use razor for shaving and ripped it apart (dangerous and not recommended). I took that thin blade and pressed it’s sharp edge against my skin
The blade separated the skin like a hot knife through butter. I bleed. My leg bleed. A lot. I wasn’t scared. I was relieved. The pain came but so did the endorphins. My mind calmed. I let myself bleed for a minute before cleaning the wound.
Years of this went on. I hide my scars and fresh cuts and from time to time I asked for help. I talked to friends, therapists but that is not what made me stop.
Shame and guilt, I felt them but those feelings didn’t make me stop.
The thought of my child ever seeing me like that, to have her catch me in the act, that thought made me stop. My therapist brought this thought to my attention. I couldn’t be that selfish anymore.
I’m not saying I’m never tempted. I’m not ‘cured.’
It’s always a struggle. I fight everyday. But everyday I choose not to hurt myself. And with every day that passes that I haven’t cut, it gets a little easier.
confession #5: I am a cutter.
If you have a self-mutilation problem or someone you knows has one, please get help. It is not common for people to stop without professional help.