I'm 15, and I started cutting two years ago. I've stopped in the last few months, and now my best friend is cutting again. Help?
This is something that I feel I have some experience in. I cut for 3 years (have been clean now for longer than that) and had a few friends who also have.
Can I ask exactly what you would like help with? I'm happy to give my view on any questions, but my advice will have more meaning if I know exactly what you would like to talk about.
1) How do I fight the urge to cut? I still get it, and it's quite strong. 2)How do I come out to my family as a 'ex' cutter? 3)How do I encourage my friend(s) to stop?
1) I'm going to copy/paste an old post of mine to answer this.
"Stopping cutting is a complex process, despite pretty much all the advice being really simplistic. It's one of those easy to say, hard to do kind of situations. Once you manage to convince youself that you want to stop and that it's best for you, you've really got the process started. I can't stress enough how important this is. The next big factor is will power. Sticking to the idea that you should stop, no matter how hard it gets. It's hard, but whether you believe you can do it or not, you can. Anyone can obstain from self inflicted injury. It may hurt like he.ll sometimes, but you are capable of it.
The rest, it tends toward personal preference. How you go about dealing with the feeling of addiciton as you withdraw from it should be tailored to what would suit you best. I'd encourage you to keep thinking about the reasons why you want to stop. Group them together and use them as a shield. Have them protect you from giving in. Some good distraction techniques can work well too, but I should warn you that whilst these can be helpful, they are temporary and superficial. They'll get you away from thinking too much about cutting while they're available, but when you're not in a position to undertake one of these activities you'll be more vulnerable. That's why all that will power and self talk (on why you want to stop) is so important. That said, distraction methods can be anything that keeps your mind off of cutting. It could be something you find enjoyable, interesting, intellectually stimulating, tiring, etc. Some examples: reading, listening to music (preferably not anything that makes you feel upset), exercising, learning about something new (or something that you have an interest in), talking to a friend (about whatever you want, it doesn't have to be about how you feel).
When I combined the core methods (remembering my reasons for stopping and sticking to those beliefs no matter what), with distractions when necessary, I found a good method for stopping self harm. I was still depressed and still struggling over the time that I quit, and it was not until more than a year after the last time that I cut that I really felt confident that I would never cut again (I was still depressed at this point too).
It's a difficult process and takes a lot of time. You may still feel like cutting for a long time after stopping. It may still be your default thought for coping with emotional pain. The trick is to under no circumstances give in. Commit yourself to that and you'll get there. It's worth it. Even when I still felt like cutting, I knew I'd made the right choice and I knew my life was easier because of it. Cutting teaches destructive methods of dealing with pain. Once you remove it from the equation, you start to learn better ways of dealing with that emotion.
I've talked a lot on this subject, mostly about what worked for me. As I said before, you may have to change things around a little so that it works best for you. We are different people, and so what suits you may not have suited me and vice versa."
2) That's a tough one. Can I ask why you want to do this? There's a few ways you could go about it. You could sit your family down and explain it to them. Why you started, why you stopped, why you want them to know. You could also write them a letter, if talking to them face to face is too daunting.
3) I'd suggest that as much as possible you learn about what your friend thinks about the whole topic and go from there. It's generally more well received if you avoid pushing your own thoughts on to them, and instead work with theirs. If they ask advice, it's a different story though. That gives you a much better opportunity to suggest what you have found works and how that links in with your own thoughts and experiences.
So, my advice is, ask questions. Why do they cut? Do they want to stop? Why/why not? Once you have that information, you could suggest things to them, ask if they want advice to stop, explain why you stopped. Let them know that you are there for them if they need it. The way you go about the conversation could differ, depending on what the person you are talking to is like, so if the conversation goes one way, roll with it.
About your question for Number Two. I used to blame all of my scars on cats/my family assumed that. Only a few people in my family knoe the real reason for the tally marks. One my cousin knws it's from depression. My father never sees me, so he could care less, I suppose. But I'd like to come out to my sister, and my mom's family, I suppose.
Okay. Best wishes with it all. If you want to talk about anything, I'm here.
Okay! Will do. I've been clean for two and a half months now!! YAY!!!
That's great! You should be proud :)
I am! Very much so! I brag about it to my friends and they say the same. It makes me happy to see my scars fade.
I don't know a thing about cutting, but I know about addiction. I'm here to talk at any point if you need it.
ask yourself why do i want to cut? because the reason is never worth it. your 15 your in highschool right? life will get so much better after school (if you try to make it better that is) think if what your family and friends will feel if you cut and died.
my sister cut as a way to release all her frustration hurt and anger, she didnt realise it could kill her. luckily i found out before she did but she was close. do something else when you think about it, get a marker and write a different message there every day, thats what i did thts what my sister does now.
you and your friend need to get through this together or one/both of you wont make it at all
Oh? Now I'm interested. What is it you know about addiction?
Yes. I know. And I HAVE been trying. I appreciate your advice.