This article is called "Cut the Pain Away", because it deals with a well-known problem, self mutilation.
Below is my article, please read it and understand that I have had experience in helping people who suffer with self mutilation, aka cutting. But I am not a professional counselor. I myself used to cut myself, but I found help and am proud to say I do not do it anymore. I would like to add as a note: cutting is not something to be taken lightly. If you or someone you know is dealing with this hard to quit addiction, talk to your school counselor or parent(s)/legal guardian. Immediately.
This article was written after I read Eric5675's own article about self harm, please know that I am not stealing his work in any way, but I figured I could provide a more detailed view of someone who has harmed themselves. I know, because I myself used to cut.
"The cat did it" "Oh I accidentally scratched myself, stupid mosquito's"
Ever heard someone say something like that? I'm sure a lot of you have. I'm writing as anonymous author to talk to you about a VERY serious issue, self mutilation. If that doesn't ring a bell, we will call it "cutting". Yes, cutting. Scary thought isn't it? Someone harming themselves. You must be thinking, they must be insane to do something like that?! Right? WRONG.
What is Cutting?
Cutting is self mutilation of some or several body part(s). Usually the wrist, but sometimes on the backs of the arms or legs, occasionally the waist.
Sometimes when people are depressed, angry, hurt, sad, or even dealing with sexual/physical or verbal abuse they turn to something that they feel is their only way to escape the pain, self mutilation. Cutting is a way of relieving stress or pain through taking something sharp (usually a razor, knife, broken glass, etc.) to the body part of their choice.
When people cut themselves, their body usually goes numb for about ten seconds; yes, ten seconds. Not a very long time is it? But that's one of the saddest things about cutting, the person doing it is so upset that they would give anything even their own blood to just feel nothing for as little as ten seconds. A lot of times, the person cutting will think "I will only do it once, just this once," but that is almost impossible.
Self harm is an addiction, once you start, it is so very hard to stop. Self harm is addicting because the victim usually wants the pain to go away. And the pain will go away, but you can't use a blade to cut it out. Now that I have explained things, let me tell you the signs of cutting, and also a way to stop.
What does it look like?
Cutting usually looks like deep scratches to deep cuts across the wrist/other areas. And they're usually horizontal.
How does someone who is cutting act?
The person cutting usually wears long sleeves even in hot weather, a lot of times they will be checking their wrist to make sure no cuts have been exposed. Another one of the extremely sad things about cutting, is that the person usually becomes very cold, quiet, and distant.
How can you help someone who is cutting?
Talk to them, a lot of times when someone is cutting they feel like nobody wants to listen, nobody cares, but showing them that you do care, will mean a lot, even if they don't show it at the time. Try and get them to tell you exactly what they feel, be a shoulder for them to lean on, and if they need to cry, let them. If someone opens up to you about their problems with self harm, don't get freaked out, be calm, understanding, and it is also best to help them get counseling.
And if their parents are in the picture, you SHOULD tell them, they will get their child help as soon as they can and you might feel guilty at first, but you're truly helping your friend, more then you know.
Note: CUTTING IS NOT ALWAYS A SUICIDE ATTEMPT.
If someone mentions any of the sentences listed below, then it's a cry for serious help and could very well be a sign of suicidal thoughts.
"If anything happens to me, promise you will take care of 'insert name here"
"Do you think god punishes suicides?"
"I might not be around much longer, please don't be mad at me!"
"I just cant keep living anymore, its too hard"
The list goes on, you can start by asking your friend if they're suicidal, if the answer is yes, you BOTH need to talk to someone right away! And if you know of a friend who is planning on committing suicide, call 1-800 S-U-I-C-I-D-E. Never ever tell someone that their problems aren't bad enough to be feeling this way. Like one of my favorite quotes says "It's not how bad the problem is. It's how bad it's hurting the person who has it"
I would also like to add that Cutting is not the only form of self-harm, there is also:
- Head-banging (No, not what people do at rock concerts)
The list goes on, basically if you're hurting yourself, it's obviously self harm.
I am of course not a professional counselor, But I have my own experience with self-harm, And below I will provide ways to help QUIT, things to do outside of counseling. It's also a good idea to talk to your counselor and see what they think about the ideas below.
One of the ways I quit cutting, was telling someone who I was very close to. My best-friend, she was never a self-harmer or any of that, but she was amazingly understanding and she did her best to help me through it. So talk to someone you trust! it will help!
Next, was confronting the problem. It took a lot of time to finally confront myself and say, "This is hurting me even more, it won't really get rid of my sadness!" Realizing that, was a big help for me.
After I had those two steps down, my next move was to look deep inside of myself and find the REAL reason I was cutting. And I figured it out, I was suffering from a broken heart and I felt very abandoned by the people who were supposed to leave me feeling happy, (family). Once I had that figured out, I came up with a completely new way to get rid of my pain. And I fixed most of my problems, at least the ones I could control.
GET RID OF THE BLADE!
Get rid of what you're using to hurt yourself, this is very hard and takes a lot of self-control to do. Take those blades, lighters, anything you're using and chuck them out the window! (not literally) Doing this will be a great help, and it will help teach you to control your emotions!
Well Whyville, I know I sound a bit one sided in my story, and I understand that there are a lot of other self-harm stories/problems out there, but if my best-friend could understand what I was going through, she isn't the only one! Talk to someone, get help, save your own life.
I really hope I helped you all in any way. And remember, if you need to talk to someone, even if you're not cutting, DO IT. Don't cut, shout. Take a stand, and help others to the best of your ability. You can quit, you have strength. Good luck Whyville!! This is *anonymous* going to bed.
Author's Note: To learn more about self-harm, visit some of these web-sites: