This is a story I wrote for a website.
I started self-harm (cutting) when I was 15. It happened after a traumatic night in my house. I snapped and was looking for a way to channel the pain that I was feeling. I really wanted to die but didn’t know how to. So I decided to “dig” for a vein hoping it would kill me. I never got that far.
Over the years I changed methods, from scissors to razors. I found that razors worked best to alleviate my pain that I was feeling. I remember when I was 17 that I dissociated while I was cutting. It was the only time I lost time while doing self-harm.
During one distressing December, my therapist was on vacation and I cut to the point of needing stitches. I was a trained medical assistant at the time so soon after I got home from the hospital (which was my shortest hospital stay ever), I took the stitches out. I kept the wound open for a good month or so, cutting it every day. This was in 1997. By the time the New Year rolled around, I was getting tired of leaving the wound opened so I made new cuts. This went on for another month or so. I had changed therapists. The new social worker that I met was a DBT therapist and we talked about cutting in detail, such as why I did it, and the like. She told me something that no one had told me before: You can feel but not act on your feelings. That stayed with me.
Around this time, cutting lost its appeal to me. It no longer was the “drug” I was craving. Since then, I haven’t cut, though the urges are sometimes there when I am having a difficult time. I still have my “kit” but I hardly know it’s there. I suppose I could get rid of it as I no longer need it.