Hi, I'm Kat and I too am a longtime cutter, 32 years, also had a bad childhood. I haven't cut since Dec. 15, 2009 for the most part. I've had maybe 4 or 5 slip ups since then, but from cutting daily that's a pretty good scorecard.
I stopped with the help of my Psychiatrist, Psychologist, DBT, ECT, and meds. I am also a chronic pain patient and BiPolar, so regulating my moods and feelings has never been easy. The only easy thing was having that form of release to get through it all. But when your 10 yr. old asks you why you have stitches all the time....it's kind of a major wake up call. I had a very rough patch of time in 2009, going through a separation after 22 yrs of marriage and my hubby moving in with his girlfriend...well in period of 4 months I did enough damage to have to get a total of 78 stitches over several instances.
Quitting is not easy, cutting is just as addicting as drugs, contrary to what people think. The first thing to do is throw away your "kit" if you have one, I did, alot of the time cutters have a special "kit" of blades and knives that they use. Next go through your home make sure there are not any excessive blades or sharps laying around. You have to learn to retrain your brain, so that at the first hint of fear/anxiety/pain/depression you don't reach for a knife. That can be very hard to do without the help of a professional. Because generally to quit, you have to own up to your feelings good or bad, and get through all the crap in your past and put it away. And then it's just a matter of willpower and talking yourself down when you feel the urge. I know I make it sound very simple and easy, but it's not...it takes alot of hard work.
Do you have a therapist or a psychiatrist currently that could help you with this? They can teach you other techniques to use instead of cutting. DBT is also very good for self harmers, you could check and see if there's a DBT group in your area.
I am happy for you and Thank you for sharing your story. Like i said, i have been cutting for so many years, but got away with no stitches by using those steri-strips to hold my cut together, then had a big wake up call, a few weeks ago, when i cut multipe times and got scared, i called 911, although i called and admitted to being bi-polar, and a cutter, not to end my lfe, they police baker acted me. I got over 50 stitches and was in a home for just a day, the psy. there said the normal is a min. of three day stay but seeing all of my old scares and me telling him i was not trying to end my life, released me. Thankfully because they did not even gve me my meds while in there. And it was not a very clean place.
The sad part is I have a degree in crminal justice AND psychology and cannot even deal with myself, but helping others comes natural, if only would take my own advice!
Oh, forgot to mention, I have gone a few years at a time without cutting, but now it seems i cannot even go a couple of weeks, and now i live with my mom and she will call 911 if i cut, very non-supportive. So, i have to hide it, which is hard. But i don't want to end up back at a facility again.
I hear ya, I managed to hide my cutting from everyone for over 20 years and then on the 2nd visit with a new psychologist 6 yrs ago, she saw a "wound" on my wrist and asked me flat out if I'd cut myself. Freaked me out....nobody had a clue, and it took her like a total of an hour and 15 minutes to bust me. she's very good and I credit her with alot of my being able to stop for so long. I was where you are at that time, cutting everyday, some days lots of times. I know what you're going through and I so wish I could take it away from you....but I can promise you that if your willing to work hard, then it can get better.
The Following User Says Thank You to katlin09 For This Useful Post: ghelpmelivelife (05-27-2011)