I use to cut. Not a lot, but I still have scars on my arm.
When I got my CNA license the summer of 2013, and we students were taking each other’s pusles, the girl taking mine noticed my scars, and her eyes flashed to mine, questions furrowing her brow.
I met her eyes head on. I answered her silent questions with a soft voice, “Bad time in my life.” She nodded, and resumed pusle checking.
When I went in for STD testing the same summer (I’m a huge advocate of STD testing on a regular basis if you’re sleeping around; after every partner), the nurse who drew my blood, saw my scars.
She looked at me, asked if I’m okay. I said yes. She asked about it, and I brushed it off. She suggested counselling. Not an option. Needless to say, I didn’t convince her I was okay, or through cutting.
I haven’t cut in almost two years. But I’ve wanted to. I’ve thought about it. I have literally craved the blade.
Cutting is like a drug, an addiction.
I cut twice. Am I a former cutter? I don’t know if cutting twice counts. But I cut deep. I had blood dripping down from my arm, staining my jeans, the seat of my car. My entire forearm was a mess of cuts and blood.
Both times was the same. I couldn’t even see my arm through the blood. I don’t have the scarred arms you see on Instagram and the like, but I do have scars. If I kept cutting, I would though. If I’d even be here.
I am too chicken to actually kill myself, but drunk enough, and in enough pain, I couldn’t guarantee I wouldn’t.
So I stopped.
Cutting is a dangerous release of emotional pain. It hooks you in, and you feel trapped. You don’t want to, but you can’t stop.
But you can.
I’m not going to stand here and judge. I’m not going to stand here and pretend to know how to fix you.
There are other outlets for emotional pain. Find another release, and throw away the blades. The biggest step is throwing them away.
For me, a run, a jog, anything that took all my energy helped. I got a gym membership (I know teenagers can’t always get that) and would run on the treadmill, headphones in. I’d turn up the music to drown out the noise- the noise of my thoughts, the noise of others. Then I’d run until I couldn’t even cry because I was exhausted.
Other days, I’d go outside and run as far as I could.
Yeah, there will be days you find a blade and cut. But the idea is to break away from the form of release.
My friend thought I was cutting, and was super pissed. In turn, I was pissed. She was using alcohol to numb her pain, I was using a knife. How dare she judge me.
Alcohol, drugs, cutting- even sex- they aren’t healthy releases of pain. They don’t solve the problem. They numb it for awhile.
I think the idea should be to work towards healing, not just a bandaid.