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New Cutter at the age of 21

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Don't fully understand the trigger function, so I'm using it to be on the safe side..


I just recently started cutting a few weeks ago. It was right before I started my serious treatment for my depression. I got the idea one night and tried to use a kitchen knife, but it wouldn't break the skin. That frustrated me enough to steal some blades from my work for a "just in case" type of thing.

Well the "just in case" turned into a small nick - I forced myself to not go any further.

I grew up with cutters & know how addicting it is, and that scares me (the addiction part).

The funny thing is, my depression has been so bad that I've tried all the coping mechanisms in the book - and then some - and I always assumed that it was the pain (from cutting) that distracted from the emotions and helped people to cope. Well, I've been in physical pain (four surgeries) & I don't like it. So I always assumed that it wouldn't work for me. I was actually jealous of those who were able to find comfort this way, because I thought it wouldn't work for me... and I've been so desparate.

I'm not sure what made me want to try the knife. I didn't think about it, I just acted. And even though it didn't work, I could "feel" that it could... hence the preparation.

Then, one night, a few days later, I cut for real. I wanted to do alot more damage, but I stopped myself then too.

Those cuts are almost healed now & I've been able to resist the urge by looking at them & trying to go back to that place and feeling of the moment. It was working well, and I thought that I would at least be able to hold off until I couldn't see the marks anymore. That didn't happen.

I've had such a hard day today. Almost lost my primary job (Bank Teller); still might, and I had to go to a job interview for a new position at the Bank, and pretend to be normal and confident and happy. Except I recieved a phone call from the Bank just before I left. I'll spare you the details; but, basically because I'm depressed & taking meds that sometimes make me dizzy and shake - I'm not good for the banking center. So I can transfer if I get this job - otherwise, she'll fire me. And this all coming during a huge crisis of multiple things.

So, I just cut. Deeper and more than last time. I had tried to tell myself that I wouldn't, but I'm just so upset that I didn't care. I should have cried and had a panic attack after the phone call - but I didn't let myself, because I had the job interview. So I just internalized everything & now I just can't seem to get it out...

I don't want this to become a habit.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to handle this during a crisis without resorting to cutting?

I'm already on meds, and hospitalization is not a option right now (I'm not opposed to it, it just wouldn't actually solve anything - it would just make the stressors worse).

No breathing or meditation or positive thinking, please. Those are all basic coping techniques & I already do them.

I know I may be asking for an answer that doesn't exist; but does anyone know some more drastic techniques to curb this?

I don't want to cut; but I have to let it out somehow...

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I really feel for you....and I totally hear you about hospital, my therapist and I work hard to keep me from needing to go in for that very reason, it would make the stressors work...

I've recently had my job transferred.....and its ok...such a relief....takes a whole load of pressure off....

Am I right in saying that the emotions you're most struggling with right now are fear and the longing for comfort?

If so, then self soothing might help. Do you have a pet you can stroke and cuddle? Something to look after, like a plant, or a garden? What comforts you? I find a long shower or soak in the bath, or even just curling up under a blanket with a soft toy really help...

also, how about music? I have days where only Wagner (Tristan Und Isolde) will do...there is something about it that echoes my own heartache and soothes me.

Journalling, writing it all out helps me too....

The question of job transfer stressed me out, too. But I didn't have to have an interview to transfer. I'm not sure whether that's right...have you spoken to your HR dept about this? Are they involved? Is there anyone at your current job who you can share your feelings with, feel safe to talk to?

On another note, I find that drawing on myself with red felt pen has helped, finger painting is also something I use when under stress. Its the tactile, release thing without the danger.

Hold on in there.

I didn't start self harm (although I hit and scratched myself rather than cut) until I was about 27, (when I had no therapy or meds) and managed to stop 9 months ago.

I send supportive thoughts....Keep talking here if it helps...

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