From time to time I work with someone who, at some point, introduces into our conversation a concern for the fact that they harbour a secret urge to cut. This is a habit that is very poorly understood by the general public. In my experience, it is mostly not a “death-wish” as some might interpret. It is also underestimated just how “therapeutic” these thin cut-lines can be for the person at the time. The lure of cutting seems to lie in its ability to bring inner turmoil to a momentary end. I am very interested in getting people out there, who have had personal experience with resisting this lure, to help us gain a better understanding of it. For example, a young client shared this beautiful piece of writing with me:
The self-inflicted cut was like a gateway; letting the pain in my heart pulse through my vains and pour out with the blood, freeing me of my binding pain for a couple of hours.
Pain has a catch release effect: it doesn’t let you go until you give it more.