The Unknown Addiction This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     Every once in a while, the craving returns. Usually at night, usually when I’m alone. That’s when the emptiness starts setting in, the strange black feeling that settles in the pit of my stomach. I used to succumb to it easily. Now I’m fighting the addiction. So many times I wish I could just give in.

It begins very small. So small, you don’t even realize what you’re doing to yourself. For me, it started with a safety pin. The cuts were small, small enough to explain with simple excuses. I thought that would be enough. I thought I would be able to control it, but I didn’t know half of what I know now. Cutting is an addiction, just as bad as cigarettes or alcohol. It eats up your life, and you don’t even know it.

They just kept getting deeper. Longer. More difficult to explain. I had to hide them. I was wearing long sleeves in summer, coating my arms in layers of jelly bracelets and wristbands. I even caked my arms in foundation to hide the line of fresh cuts I had made the night before a choral concert. Anything to keep it hidden, to muffle my cries for help.

Things were getting out of control. I felt like I needed to cut just to feel alive. All day during school, I’d think about it. Crave it. When I finally got home, I could hardly control myself. I’d cut without even knowing why, not even thinking, just allowing the pain to take me to a new level of unconsciousness and bliss. By this time most of my friends knew. I could see them worrying. For some reason, though, I didn’t care.

My last cut was a year ago, after almost two and a half years of addiction. Now, I still find myself craving it. Anything can trigger a craving: hearing about it, writing about it, even just chopping veggies for dinner. I find myself thinking, Just one more time, it can’t hurt. I want to succumb to those feelings so badly sometimes. But I can’t stand the thought of sending eight months of hard work down the tube. I just can’t stand the thought of disappointing myself like that.

When I see people who have the same battle scars, I wish I could tell them what they’re dealing with, but I don’t think they would listen. Maybe they already know.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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teenageoutcast5 said...
today at 2:56 pm
This speaks to me and my own experiences.
Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 10 at 7:24 am
i love this so much!
robyn020304 said...
Sept. 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm
this is amazing i have just resently stopped cutting and im  finding it hard but just to kno im not the only one having the same problem makes me feel better.
ItalianStallion said...
Mar. 5, 2012 at 9:40 am
Wow. This explains exactly how I feel. This is amazing. (:
Gabbiie.B said...
Jan. 21, 2012 at 10:35 am
personally I think this was an amazing and beautiful written article. No one really understands and can interpret the usage of cutting. I use to cut when I was in 7th grade to help cope with my bipolar disorder and anorexia, but I quickly stopped after 7 weeks because I had an intervention and now i'm sober and clean. thank you for reminding of how strong I have become after the cutting. ;)
Lillie said...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm
I used to cut and I find this piece not only very accurate, but beautifully written.  Good work, and keep up the strength.  I get the same urges sometimes too, so you're not alone.
breebree said...
Mar. 4, 2011 at 7:55 am
your justlooking for attention, cutting doesn't solve any problems try a shot gun
chocolatemoose77 replied...
Mar. 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm
you wouldn't say that if you have gone through it.
weirdone replied...
Apr. 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm
how could you say something like that. offering her to get a shot gun. something is wrong with you and i hope you figure out what it is. my heart hurts for you to even say suggest this. anyone with a cutting addiction is not loooking for attention. why the freak do you think they hide it. no if they were trying to get attention, they would display it to the world. she is sharing her story so that others might actually have a chance at life. oh and you need to get a life also.
Lillie replied...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm
Are you serious?  People who haven't cut before will never understand why people do it.  People who cut are not looking for attention, they're trying to find a way to ignore their intense mental pain.  They're looking for help.  So Breebree, don't comment on things you know nothing about. 
KarmaHope said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I have never done this. I hope I will never want to. However, I have at least two friends who have gone through this. Possibly three. I never realized that it was an addiction. I thought it was- well, I don't know what I thought. But it wasn't that.

It's scary when you realize that this applies to people who are close to you, and that they never tell anyone, or get help. It makes you realize that some things you hear about other people doing, things that you think you'll never have to ... (more »)

Tiffaney8653 said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 10:54 am
I totally understand where you all are coming from at the time I was fourteen and  I was cutting I was going through a totally rough time. Though it's been a year and a half its still hard to stop. Sometimes just getting sad or depressed really triggers it. Really anything could trigger it. I have a friend going throug this right now. Ive told him everything, but he just doesn't get it. Awesome writing love it.
ShelbyMarie93 said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 10:09 am

This is so true! I understand and can relate to every word you said. Honestly, even reading this made me want to. And I haven't done anything in like...a year! But I understand what you're saying, holding a knife during dinner, being alone in a kitchen, holding scissors...some of the oddest things can send a triggor.

Anyways! Great writing!!!

JacintaT said...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 6:05 am
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you so much for posting this, it brought tears to my eyes to read. Every word you wrote, I understand completely. It is good to know someone else out there feels the same, but it hurts to know that I am not the only one who fights to deal with this. You are so strong, you are my inspiration. Thank you
hope said...
Aug. 16, 2010 at 10:04 am
i feel the same way, like one mightnor hurt but then i think about how hard it is has been the last year and couple months to fight the urge. it's worth it to fight it, i wouldn't want to give up all i've worked for. stay strong and thank you for sharing your story
omgshoes said...
May 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm
This is amazing. I hope you can leave your addiction behind and move on with your life. Thank you for shining a little light on the subject.
cryinghart said...
Feb. 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm
Wow. I have "battle scars" to. And I totally understand having cravings. I stopped cutting about six month ago and, I can't see a razer blade or a knife with out thinking about it.
Shawna L. said...
Jan. 25, 2010 at 8:23 pm
good job for trying to stop...I totally know what you're dealing with an I think that it's really brave of you to put this out there. I find that it helps when you know that you're not the only one.
this is really good, good job :)
Zephyrine said...
Dec. 5, 2009 at 6:46 pm
I started cuttin when I was in 6 grade, n jus this yr I have picked it back is an addiction n I used to know how 2 stop......but now.....
NinjaHummingbird replied...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 7:47 pm
keep fighting! Ill pray that you'll be able to stop. I hope you get better! (:
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