In a previous post I talked about my struggle with an eating disorder, and as much I would like to say that this has been my only struggle, I also had a battle with self harm. And in my case, this was cutting.
Self harm can mean any number of things. It most commonly manifests itself in cutting the skin, however in some cases, burning the skin, punching or striking yourself or engaging in any behaviour that is intentionally harmful to yourself are also considered Self Harm. Some consider self harm as a cry for attention and don't take it very seriously, but it can be extremely dangerous!!
So, I want to share my experience with cutting, and I just want to say that this is solely based on my own experience and not all situations are the same.
As I began to receive treatment for my anorexia, I was having trouble dealing with stressful situations. I felt like my only coping mechanism was taken away, and I didn't know what to do. One night, after a bit of pacing and stressing, I picked up a blade for a box cutter and made a small cut on my upper arm. I almost instantly felt calmer and relaxed. I made another cut and then another. I now understand that what was happening was that my body was releasing endorphins and adrenaline to battle the pain. At the time though, it just felt good. The rush was an instant release, and not only was there a physical reaction, it also acted as a mental break. I had something else to focus on.
And that was the start of three years of cutting. I was lucky in that it was a somewhat infrequent part of my life and I never cut so deep that I am left with scars. I finally stopped when I began to grow up and learned a new skill set to deal with all of this stress. I learned to talk about things right away when things begin to pile up and the best tip for coping and working it out, is to write it down. Whenever I need to work out an issue, I write it down and work it through that way. I will admit that sometimes when life seems really overwhelming, I do think about cutting or restricting my food, but I know that it will only make everything worse!!