A positive experience
I’ve always been ashamed to tell people about cutting myself, so when I started to get positive and supportive reactions from people, I was really confused.
It started with my significant other. She supported me and would talk about it openly with me. She didn’t feel that there was anything wrong with cutting myself. We even explored alternatives together, like using red paint on my arms, and encouraging me to draw what I wanted to do as an option to actually doing it. All that said, she was also there to help with the underlying cause of my cutting, my depression. She encouraged me to get help from my doctor and therapists, and she even brought me to the hospital when I knew I needed to go. I used to think she was off her rocker and that she was wrong to support my cutting, however I’m starting to change my mind after a discussion with my therapist.
I never thought I would hear a professional argue against my inherent belief that cutting is wrong. While she agreed it’s maybe not the best coping mechanism in the world, it has been one that has worked well for me in the past, and has helped me deal with a lot of the garbage I’ve gone through. It’s not something I’ve used frequently – or even primarily – to deal with my mental health, but it’s been there and it’s worked. When other methods of coping have failed, cutting hasn’t let me down. I think the shame surrounding cutting has hurt me more than the actual act itself.
It’s nice to know that there are people out there who accept cutting and will treat is as the coping mechanism it is as opposed to just freaking out on you.
Person [female, age 28, began to SI at 21, graphic designer]