It’s a bit of a complicated question if you think about it. I mean, if you step back and look at it from an outsider’s point of view, it seems like an easy thing to do. Like putting off folding your clothes or writing an essay. But everyone here knows it’s not, and if they don’t, they will one day. Self-injury is like an old friend. It makes me feel relief when things are just too hard to deal with. It eases my anxiety. It calms me down. It helps me cope. It’s always there for me when no one is. It feels comforting. But the aftermath is what’s hard to deal with. Those feelings of ugliness when I look at what I’ve done don’t go away. I’m afraid of people seeing my scars. I’ve gotten in so many fights with my girlfriend over it. Seen her cry so many times, telling me she’s afraid I’ll slip and really hurt myself bad. I feel so much guilt when I do it. I feel like a hypocrite, because it hurt me so bad to see my friends doing it, but I hurt the people I love by doing it myself. So, the best answer I can give is, no. I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to let go of those feelings of relief and control.
But I know that I have to. For the sake of my self-esteem, my loved ones, my health, I don’t have a choice anymore.
Person Female, age 19, began SI at age 12, university student