Copyright, Richard

I don’t remember when I first started cutting. I think it was early high school, maybe late primary school, but I don’t remember why I started, or how. I remember pushing pins into myself, tying cords around my neck to strangle myself and hitting my thighs hard among other things. I don’t remember stopping. The whole period is pretty blurry. I completely repressed it for a while.

Then, late August 2004, a close friend of mine killed himself — overdosed on painkillers. A couple of weeks after that, grieving, I started remembering my early self harming. I picked up a knife and started to scratch my upper left arm.

Now it’s a habit I’m locked into. I use a razor now, and cut quite deep, not just scratch. I’ve had blood dripping down my arm past my wrist before, although I’ve been careful enough to never need stitches. There are scars though. At the moment I’m cutting daily, like I was when I started. When I first got put on Effexor, in late December, I managed to go for a few weeks without cutting, and then cut relatively infrequently. Now though it’s daily again.

I cut usually because I feel a knot of emotion that’s painful — usually deep painful sadness. I also get paranoid and thoughts of self worthlessness. The cutting makes my thoughts brighter, I think I crave that almost as much as relief from the pain now.

Sometimes I can’t even tell what I’m feeling before I cut. It’s called Alexithymia, I can’t tell if I’m happy or sad, I just now I’m feeling something intense, but I can’t tell what it is.

I’ve been cutting for five months now. I’m seeing a CPN and going on a DBT Lite course soon, so hopefully I’ll be able to stop when I have a better way with coping with my feelings. For now, cutting is the only way I have.


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