It helped provide a little relief from your terrible feelings. It helped to ease the stress for a little while.
Now you feel like you can't stop and it's embarrassing, even scary.
As if you needed any more problems to think about!
People don't usually intend to keep cutting once they start, but it happens. The brain gets tricked into believing the false sense of relief, so the next time it feels pain, the brain craves this same deliverance. Cutting suddenly becomes an addiction that seems impossible to stop. And the worst thing is: the relief it provides doesn't last. The problems that triggered the cutting remain — you can't outrun them. Plus, when you self-injure, you are at risk for infections, scarring, and shock . You can die from an extreme injury or bad cuts that don't get treated right away.
So how do you stop?
The first thing you do is become aware of which situations trigger your urge to cut.
Is it triggered after a disagreement with a friend or a family member?
...when a large project is due at school?
...after you've lost a game?
...when there's pressure at work?
After you know your triggers, make a plan for what to do instead of cutting when you feel the urge.
Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it.
Rub an ice cube on your skin in place of cutting
Draw a mark on your skin with red pen in the place you usually cut.
Squeeze a stress ball.
Rip something up.
Scribble on paper with red ink
Drip red paint over paper
Illustrate your pain
Use poetry to express what you're feeling
Listen to music that talks about how you feel
Ask a friend for help
You may not be able to control the things in life that cause you pain, but there is nothing wrong in asking for help. The right person can enable you to find your inner strength.
So you can cope with your problems in a healthy way,
and stop cutting,
and begin to solve those problems instead of trying to outrun them.