Before: I am feeling numb and terribly sad, like I can almost feel the sadness in the air around me with my hands, and then I begin to get a “knowing” feeling. This goes on for a few hours, then I feel like “it’s time” or something like that. When I’m getting my pocket knife out of the spot where i hide it, I feel anxious.
During: When I’m choosing the spot on my arm to do it, I still feel anxious, but the back of my mind is measuring how long and deep it should be, based on how bad I’m feeling. When I finally cut, I feel relieved. I sort of feel like I accomplished something as I closely watch the blood drip down my arm and onto the floor or bed (I wouldn’t let the blood get on my bed, but I’m sort of in a trance or something when I do it, so I don’t really think about those things). Thinking about it makes me a little bit euphoric.
After: After I get tissues and clean up the blood, I lay down on my bed and I feel like I just woke up on a lovely morning to a perfect life and a perfect body and a cozy feeling under the covers of my bed. After I go back outside with my family I feel a bit better than before, like it went from ten pounds on my shoulders to five. I dont really feel the paranoia everyone else does. Only an ounce of it.
Person [female, age 13, began to SI at age 12, middle school student]