Pain is a part of being human. After the fall of humanity, we were cursed with pain. Pain is a part of living. More accurately, pain is a part of dying.
There are so many different types and levels of pain. There is physical, mental, and emotional pain. There are even subcategories within each of those. Regardless, I know that pain is something we as humans can all relate to.
What might be harder for some to relate to, is self inflicted pain. This past week, I had a conversation with my friend. We were talking about waxing, plucking eyebrows, and high heels. All of these things I loath. I told her I absolutely hate these things because I hate self inflicted pain. She gave me a strange look after I said it. I smiled and gave a nervous laugh because I knew exactly what she was thinking…
I’m a cutter. I rarely use this label for myself (because I hate it) but it’s the best way to describe what I’m talking about. That means I will or have intentionally cut, burned, pinched, or scratched myself in order to induce physical pain and/or bleed. This all ties in with my Borderlime Personality Disorder which I would be happy to provide reading material on. It’s one facet of it. It’s one facet that many don’t understand.
I’m going to give a brief overview on why many people cut. Please note, this is not why ever person cuts, but I and many others could fit in with what I’m about to say. So, how many of you remember hearing that if a certain pain is intense enough, it will distract from or take away any other pains you may have. This is generally used when talking about physical pain. We, as cutters, use this for all types of pain. We cut when the emotional or mental pain is so intolerable that we need to distract our minds with physical pain. That is how cutting starts for many. It quickly becomes an addiction when we quickly turn to it to fix all our problems. Soon, it becomes our only mechanism for coping. Like other addictions, it grows stronger. Getting our next fix with more pain, a deeper cut, or more blood. Cutting releases endorphins.. So in a way, it’s a high.
I have been a cutter for years. I first cut my freshmen year of high school. I turned to burning for awhile because I liked the pain. Then back to cutting. I was 5 months clean. I cut again last week. Then again last night. I’m obviously not perfect, but I’m striving so hard to stay alive.
I called this post “Guns for Hands”. That is appropriately the name of a song I love that addresses self injury. The artist says that everyone has “guns for hands”, meaning they have the capability to hurt themselves. The song starts off by talking about the morning after a self injury and the shame one feels. The artist of the song says that even with “guns for hands” you don’t have to “take it” or act on it. In the bridge, he is clearly upset. He sees so many people capable of harming themselves. He sees the anger driving them to do so. He suggests that they “point their guns” at him instead of themselves because he cares for their lives. He says he can’t sleep knowing what they might do. He begs them to direct their anger at him or his music. He ends by saying he wants them to “turn their guns into fists”. This to me is a stance of victory. I imagine someone with their fist in the air because they won.
I love that song, and if you haven’t guessed, it was written and performed by twenty one pilots. I know I’m a fan girl, but the two men in that band connect so well with people who struggle like I do. Their music has helped save my life.. As cliche as that sounds.
I have grown up addicted to pain. I really wanted to share this post because I don’t think self harm is talked about enough. If anything, it’s still super stigmatized. So to end this post, I will write a few things to break some stigma.
Myth: People just cut for attention.
Fact: Most cutters are actually extreamly discreet. I started cutting on my upper thighs and stomach where i knew no one would see. I only cut on my wrists if I needed a more intense pain or easy access. Even then, I’d try and wear long sleeves or thick braclets to cover them.
Myth: Cutting is a fad for high school girls.
Fact: Though it’s true many high school girls cut or start cutting in high school. Cutting itself is done by people of all genders and ages. Especially in people with borderline, like me. Cutting is something continued on as aforementioned addiction.
Myth: Cutters are suicidal/ want to die.
Fact: Though some people who cut contimplate or attempt suicide, many don’t. Cutting is a way to ease mental pain. It actually works for many (which is why its so addicting) therefore eliminating the need for suicide
There are many more myths about cutting! If you think something, make sure you check your facts before talking to someone. Thanks for reading! If you ever have any questions about cutting, Borderline, suicide, or anything else about my life I would be so happy to talk with you!
“Our brains are sick, but that’s okay.”