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    My cutting ritual


    • When I cut, I always listen to my music. I have to listen to music in order to even start cutting. I don't know why. I have several specific songs picked and put into a "Cutting Playlist". The songs are mainly about how I feel like no one can listen to me, and about SI. The songs help me cut myself, as they are emotional and about SI itself. The music also drowns out the sound of the blade slicing across my skin. Yes, it does make a noise, a really weird tearing noise that makes me shiver. 

       The "cutting session" itself is very ritualistic. It takes place at any time after Noon, usually right after school or at night. I keep my tools inside a special box that I bring with me everywhere - it is small enough to fit inside my pocket. I also bring my first aid kit, which includes gauze, ace bandage, several band aids, medical tape, steriStrips, hydrogen peroxide or soap (to clean the fresh cuts), and rubbing alcohol (to clean the tools when I'm done cutting).

      I lock myself in the bathroom and I am alone with my thoughts. I turn on my music on a low volume, so I can hear if someone is at the door. I set everything on the counter, and I sit on the counter, by the sink. Or, I sit on the floor on a towel, the supplies within reach. The music is playing, the first aid supplies are within reach, and the tool is in my hand. I hold the blade in my right hand, usually a disposable shaving razor that I modified for cutting purposes (by snapping off the long stick, and using a pair of scissors to break off the plastic around the blade, leaving an exposed blade with a short handle). The razor is my preferred tool. I expose the skin of my thighs (I only cut on my thighs, usually my upper right thigh, but at times I'll cut on the left). I press the razor down and slice it across my skin, always from left to right, and usually to the beat of the music. The cuts get deeper and deeper as time goes along. I tend to cut on a place only once (on various places on my right thigh). Sometimes I would go over some of the cuts again, if I felt they weren't "deep enough". I never cut on old wounds.   The cuts are lined up with each other, side by side - parallel cuts made on my leg(s). I start at mid-thigh and work my way higher up towards my hips, or vice versa. Time passes, usually over an hour, and I decide that I've had enough cuts for one day. 

      Then, I clean the cuts. I wipe up the blood with some tissues or toilet paper, clean with soap, rinse with water, (or I use hydrogen peroxide) and start bandaging them up. I use bandaids for tinier cuts, I use steri strips if the cuts are gaping and deep. Gauze goes down first (then more tissues if needed) and I tape that down with medical tape (or masking tape). Then the ace bandage is wrapped around that to keep everything in place. Then, I clean the tool(s) that I used with rubbing alcohol, and return them back into their special box. I am a freak when it comes to after care. I do NOT want to get an infection.

      Then, I pack everything away, hide all evidence of my cutting (clean up blood, dispose of tissues, etc.), and, depending on the time of day, either go on with my day as if nothing happened, or go to sleep. 

      The next day, in exactly 24 hours since the last cutting session, I remove all of the bandages, apply Neosporin to the wounds, and re-bandage everything. 

      Then, when I need to cut again, I repeat the process. Bathroom, Music, get cutting tools and first aid kit out, tool in hand, cut, clean, bandage, sleep, Neosporin.

    • Person [female, age 17, began to SI at around age 13, began cutting at age 17, high school student]
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