Letting Go Of The Stress: My Painful Addiction To Cutting (Part 1)


In a special series on self-injury, a young writer from The kNOw opens up about her addiction to cutting and its impact on her mental and physical health, along with how the stress created by her family environment only aggravate the challenges of staying healthy. Follow her story as she shares the painful truth about self-injury and begins her journey to find help.


I was having a horrible day and I ran into my room. I slammed the door shut and began looking for my “friend,” the one thing that helped me ease the pain. When I started, the feeling was indescribable. I was in my moment of ecstasy until I turned around.

My little brother was standing there, staring at me, teary-eyed. The look on his face was complete horror. I froze and at that point no longer felt any respect for myself. I felt like an animal feeding on red blood, which was dripping down my shaking arm. Now, I wasn’t the only one who would be scared.

[pullquote_right]I have an addiction to cutting. It has become my ally and I hate it.[/pullquote_right]

I have an addiction to cutting. I began when I was in the ninth grade, about four years ago. It has become my ally and I hate it. It is like a drug that I cannot seem to get over and probably would not if I could. I do not see much harm in it, and the scars no longer bother me (before I used to hate looking at my body).

I keep it a secret because no one understands my lifestyle. I am not trying to end my life. I just want to be able to stand it. I took to this habit because I had no others. Until I have others, I will stick to it.

This addiction may become worse as I get older, or maybe it will get better. In any case it is bad for my mental and physical health. I hate not being able to handle stress without wanting to cut. It is controlling my life. I depend on a razor almost everyday. Just the thought of having it calms me down. I know it is a bad addiction, and it may lead to other forms of self-injury.

There are many people at school who cut. My cousin is a cutter. She is the one who introduced me to it and even tried to get me to stop. My brother cuts himself as well and it makes me hate it when I do. My step mom has cut herself before too. Plenty of my friends have.

I come from a family with a lot of financial stress. I think if there were less stress in my life, and if I was not worrying about things I should not be worrying about such as bills, rent, and food, then maybe I would not look to cutting as an option. If I did not feel alone while growing up and if I had love and support from my family and friends, then maybe I would not feel as if the razor were my only friend. If I did not have such bad memories haunting me everyday, then just maybe I would not cut.

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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