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    • Before I self-injure, I feel confusion, and I feel tired. It’s like you’re stuck in a kind of stasis. Depression is mainly the only emotion I can feel in this stage. During, it’s like I’m peeling back this curtain, or, for lack of a better way to say it, slicing it open. I don’t enjoy the pain, I enjoy the alertness and wake-up call the pain provides. After, I feel buzzed. I just sit down, close my eyes, and think. It’s almost like it leaves a ringing in my ears, but, it doesn’t. I can’t really pay attention in this stage unless I choose to consciously. I usually take a small cat-nap a half an hour later, and wake up feeling almost normal.

    • Person [male, age 17, began to SI at age 13, high school student]
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    It feels so intense before I do it. Usually I’m really really depressed for a while before I do it. I feel helpless and hopeless and unable to see the light or any hope for the future. I feel weighed down by depression and sadness. Suddenly I have the idea of cutting myself and it makes me feel detatched and I feel a weird kind of satisfaction like I’ve found the solution to stop myself feeling the way I do. I feel clarity and purpose and so I go and get the knife and tissue and then sit on my bed and start to cut my arm. Not deep, just repeatedly in the same place. It hurts and I don’t really like the pain but I do like seeing the blood. It’s so bright and fresh and visual. It’s like finally my pain has a tangible meaning and it’s external to me and not eating me up on the inside. I also feel a kind of validation as obviously I must be hurting enough to do this and to make this mark on myself. Then after a while when I have enough blood that it’s worth it, I stop and wipe it and clean up the knife and wash it and go to the bathroom to look at my cut and I really enjoy looking at it but I also feel very sad and look in my eyes and feel sorry for how much pain I’m feeling. It helps me externalise the shit I feel inside and gives me a small feeling of being in control of how I feel. I do feel a sense of release and have a clearer mind. Then in the next few days when I have a shower I look at the cut and I still like it for some reason. I am also ashamed of it though and don’t show anyone. I’ve told a few boyfriends and they have been nice about it. Because i was sexually abused by my father and also hit and watched my mum and sister get hit and screamed at people like counsellors usually understand why I feel so bad that I want to cut myself. My father has got away with everything and yet here I am with this depression and weird desire to cut myself when things in my life go wrong and upset me, like when I break up with someone. But at least I haven’t done it for 3 years. I only did it again twice recently when I broke up with my partner. It makes me realise that times of intense stress brings it on. It sucks but in many ways it’s one way I have to cope with the pain and it helps. I dont want to do drugs or drink or anything else, so cutting for me is one way I can deal with my pain.

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    Before I self injure, I feel anxious, almost like a drug addicted addict that is needing a fix. During the act, I feel powerful, and afterwards, I feel relieved and liberated.

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Welcome to self-injury.net. We are a support community for self-harmers and also provide information on self-harm, creative works, media lists, lists of resources (helplines, textlines, mental health apps, therapists, etc.), etc. We focus on self-injury but a number of other mental health issues are included.


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  • self-injury.net is a self-harm community and resource founded in 1999. Provides support, resources, and information on self-harm.
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