Cutting wasn’t what I thought it would be. I saw a pin about it that said something about how they cut to take away the emotional pain. I didn’t understand the first time I saw it, but the next time I thought it made sense, and the next time I thought about how nice it would be to take away my emotional pain. I wasn’t going to though, but desperation for someone to notice my pain, a need to understand, and painful loneliness made me try it out. Just a little, on the back of my hand, and not even with a knife, just with a wire scraping my skin. It didn’t hurt at first. It barely made a mark. When it finally did hurt, it was more a sting of heat from the friction than anything else, and I stopped. I remember feeling a sick kind of pride and slight relief from my inner turmoil.
A few days later, I was bored in class, and wondered if it would work with a mechanical pencil, too. The lead scraped across my skin, and even when it hurt, I just kept going, idly wondering how deep I could go before my rationality told me to stop. It started to bleed a little, and I stopped. I felt more present, less bored, and again, the sick pride.
I did it again a few days later before bed with a corkscrew. I considered my pocket knife, but the blade scared me, so there I was, scraping away a line of my skin with a curled piece of steel. I stopped when my sister came into the room, but if she hadn’t I would’ve kept going. This same scene played out a few more times after this.
I began to wear a glove on my hand to hide my cuts after a friend in choir asked about them. When people asked about the glove, I told them I had gotten into the habit of tracing my veins with my pencils. Not entirely a lie, really. I didn’t wear my glove in school though, not wanting to stick out. Besides, no one noticed aside from one or two girls in choir.
I remember I was at a friends house, and everyone was talking and having fun, but I felt alone, excluded. I grabbed one of their pencils and started scraping. Slowly, as the pain built, I found myself drifting away from the conversation, but I didn’t stop, until someone asked if I wanted to play a card game with them. I remember looking at my hand, and seeing the blood, and the terror I felt that they might see made my stomach drop. But I couldn’t put on my glove, I didn’t want lint or anything in my cut. I still agreed to the game, and joined after wiping some blood and lead-dust off the pencil.
As I played, I forgot about my hand, just for a bit. One of the people playing noticed the cut, still not quite scabbed over. I panicked and lashed out a bit, angrily showing everyone the cut, then shoved my glove on.
I don’t remember if it happened on the same day, or some other day, but my friend pulled me aside and asked me to stop cutting. I was so glad someone noticed and showed any form of caring that I did stop. For a while. I broke my promise the last time I cut, after an argument with the same friend.
I’ve been ‘clean’ since then, though I’ve been sorely tempted to do worse than just small cuts on my hand. Every time I see the scars, I feel somewhat silly. Not because the pain didn’t feel like it helped, but because it’s such a short term solution that can leave long term effects. But every day that my scars catch my attention, I remember how it felt to cut, how it took away my sorrow for even a minute, how it gave me something to think about other than how no one seemed to like me. I have to make myself look away sometimes, make myself get up and do something. It all feels so hopeless, but I still refrain from cutting. Sometimes I wonder why.
Cutting wasn't what I thought it would be. It felt better, and I remind myself that it was worse. It had to be.
Author Notes: Just thinking about what it was like again and decided to write. PLEASE SEEK HELP if you're feeling depressed or like you might self-harm. I repeat, PLEASE GET HELP. It doesn't make you weak, and if you aren't comfortable with telling your friends/family, try to get professional help.