How to Quit Cutting for Good

Talking about self-harm and cutting is an issue that can be difficult to discuss, but it must be brought up. The more we try to hide the issue, the more power it has over our lives and the more difficult it is to break free.

It's important to learn new ways of dealing with your emotional pain. Then you will finally be able to give up this horribly destructive addiction.

Cutting in Not Your Friend

There is a lie about cutting, and just about every addiction. That lie simply says: Cutting is your friend.

Cutting is not your friend. It appears to offer you relief from the pain you're feeling, and no doubt it does temporarily, but in the end, it only leaves you feeling worse, yet craving for more. You're stuck with a body full of scars, and a heart full of secrets. You probably feel like nobody really cares what's going on inside of your head. And even if they did, you wouldn't know the words to use to describe what you're feeling.

Your feelings of pain which led you to cutting in the first place are real. But cutting is never going to give you the true relief you are looking for. It will only make things worse. If you want to quit cutting, you have to realize it's not wrong to be in emotional pain. The problem is you're trying to fix your emotional hurt with something that only causes more hurt. That's why cutting doesn't deliver on its false promise.

Is there a better way to fix the emotional hurt you are feeling? YES!!!!!

Let's look at three healthy ways to deal with your emotions.

Come out of hiding.

This first step may be the hardest, but you need to tell someone about your cutting. Your secrets are only making matters worse. You can't find the light while hiding in the dark. Cutters are hiders. Their closet, so to speak, is their safe haven. It's time to come out. Find someone you can trust. A good place to start may be a doctor, a school counselor, a minister, a relative, or a friend. Jacqueline said this is what has helped her: Even if you are unsure when and how the pain started - TALK!!!!

This person will help you describe your pain, even if you don't know what to say. As you start talking about your feelings in a safe environment you will learn new words you were afraid to use before. Such as: I'm angry, afraid, lonely, ugly, desperate, etc. Over time, you will sort through your intense feelings, heal past hurts, and find new ways to grow stronger and deal with life's problems in healthy ways.

Raven said this worked for her: I quit cutting [a year ago] and found that I didn't need the pain anymore. I've gone to counseling for this past year and after talking out the true reason I was hurting myself, I found that I didn't need to anymore.

Discover and break your pattern of cutting.

What are the places, situations and people that trigger your desire to cut? These desires can seemingly come out of the blue. The fact of the matter is those triggers unleash the craving in your mind to cut. Breaking the pattern of cutting, means learning how to recognize the triggers, and deal with them before you choose to hurt yourself. Your counselor will help you quickly think about how to redirect both your emotions and your cutting when a trigger occurs. In time, you will become an expert to the deep emotions that boil up inside of you, and scream that you medicate them by cutting. The earlier you recognize these emotions and what causes them, the easier it is to deal with them in a healthy way. The problems you are facing may not go away right away, but at least you will see more clearly on how to deal with them.

Ashley said: The sad part is, the things and reasons that were making me do this [cutting] have not stopped. So I wasted all that time hurting myself for no reason. While everyday is a challenge, everyday that I don't harm myself, I'm one day closer to being fully recovered.

Seek God. 

Miracles come from God. There is hope for you even if you think it will be impossible for you to quit your cruel cutting habit. It's going to take a true spiritual transformation. Not only are you going to need to retrain your brain from thinking cutting is helping you, but you're going to need to realize you are powerless, and in need of help. Only a deep, meaningful relationship with God can truly set you free. Instead of working on your addiction to cutting, it's time to begin working on your relationship with God.

God made you and loves you more than you or I will ever know. He wants you to know Him, and He wants to help you overcome your addiction to cutting. God will give you the strength you need to do this. When you trust God to heal your deepest hurts and emotional pain, He will step in and start helping you turn your entire life around.

One person anonymously commented: I still fight the urge to hurt myself when things are hard. I still carry the scars. But I've learned that God heals, and that His love is a much better relief from the hurt. There is hope.

If you or someone you know is struggling with self-harm, check this out our page with more resources for those struggling, and check out TheHopeLine's free eBook.

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15 comments on “How to Quit Cutting for Good”

  1. Hello. My name is Julie. I suffered from an eating disorder that was very serious for over thirty years and self harm for around twenty-five years. These were serious and life threatening as I was unable to cope with life and found "safety" in these illnesses. It wasn't until I was able to surrender them to God and trust Him with my fears that I found freedom. I am now ten months free from all eating disorder behaviors and the self harm. And over two years free from the anorexia. Self harm put me into another realm. I didn't have to think about anything but what I was doing, then getting rid of the evidence, and taking care of the wound. All the while, it took me away from reality into an alternate world, but it didn't last. I needed to do it again, and then again. I almost wound up with a colostomy bag. Thank God, literally, for the love of my parent's and praying friends and my own faith and desire to get well that ten months ago I stopped everything and am free and happy and learning to live life as it was interrupted by the illnesses for thirty years. No one if too far gone and too sick to get better. There is hope because of Jesus. He is our Hope. We must learn to deal with our pain and talk about it. There is Hope and healing to all. Jesus is the answer. He is helping me face fears and deal with family issues and rejection and all sorts of things, without the harmful coping behaviors. It can be done, with help and support. With blogs like this one. With stories filled with Hope like mine. It may have taken me a long time to get to where I am now, but there is no stopping me now. Please, get help and talk about your pain. Cutting or any other form of abuse from eating disorders to self harm, drug use, alcohol, whatever, is not the answer. For a while maybe, but lasting healing comes with being open about what is causing you to hurt so much. I hope that my sharing gives you hope that you too can get help and that as far gone as I was, I am in recovery and learning to live life and love life. The same can be true for you too.

  2. I’ve been a repetitive cutter since I was in my early teens. My family and a friend knows. I’ve gone from councillor to councillor, doc to doc, and I’m religious. I haven’t been able to break from the cycle, what should I do? I don’t want to keep doing this to myself any more but I’m struggling to just stop.

    1. Isabelle, Please know you are valuable and worthy! We are proud of you for reaching out for help with cutting. We have a partner organization, Door of Hope, that specializes in Self-Harm and has recovery coaches available. Please visit https://www.thehopeline.com/partners/door-of-hope-4-teens/ for more information about them and their number to text to talk to a recovery coach. We also think you would benefit from having an email mentor. It would be someone that you can email back and for with for as long as like about anything. To sign up for an email mentor go to: https://www.thehopeline.com/emailmentors/
      And lastly, if you believe in prayer and would like to be part of a community that is praying LIVE for you on Facebook you can find out more here: https://www.thehopeline.com/theprayershow/

    2. I am sorry you are struggling with this. You say you are religious. What do you mean? Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Is He your Savior? I ask because I too am a Christian and struggled with cutting and other forms of self harm as a believer. It brought much guilt. But in Christ He forgives and loves us no matter what we do. He does not want us to harm ourselves but He is there for us as we call out to Him to help us. In the Bible it tells us to draw near to God, to resist the devil and he will flee. I encourage you to call out to Jesus. For me, I had to finally come to a point where I was ready to surrender the self harm to Him. I needed to understand why I was doing it and I do. Then I had to make a decision. Sometimes it comes down to that. We can get counselling for decades but with the help of God nothing is impossible. I pray you get to the point where you are able to say NO. Out loud. Each time you say no and turn to God is another step forward and away from self harm. There is safety in God's arms. The lie that the self harm will bring comfort is just that, a lie. I pray you come to understand God's unconditional love for you and that you learn that you can say no. One day at a time. I hope this helps.

  3. My friend wants me to seek medical help for my suicide attempts and deppresion, by I’m not even in high school, I don’t want to tell my parents I have it. What should I do?

    1. It's important that you talk to someone about this. You are valuable and worthy and your life matters. If we email you a phone number to one of our partners would you please call it? They will be able to help you with the feelings you are having. You don't want to tell your parents, we get it, but please reconsider this. Your parents would want to know you are dealing with depression and thoughts of ending your life. Please read our email and please call the number we give you to Centerstone. It is free and they are confidential. If you need someone to talk to right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 or chat online with them at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/. You can reach the Crisis Text Line 24/7 by texting “START” to 741-741 too.
      Here is a list of additional suicide prevention resources https://www.thehopeline.com/suicide-prevention-resources.

    1. Vesta, thank you for reaching out to learn more about cutting. We are here to listen and help. We have a partner that will help you with the need to self-harm. They will talk to any age, not just teens, about cutting. You can text them at 1-803-570-2061 (Alternative No. 914-393-1904) Texting is available Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday 8:30 – 10:30 EST. Their website is http://www.doorofhope4teens.org. You can email them to doorofhope4teens@gmail.com (answered in 24/48 hrs)

  4. I've been fighting cutting for nearly a year now and I've been fighting God for even longer. I decided to become a christian when I was 12 but I was still angry at God about something that happened when I was 11 so after a few years that initial spark had almost completly burnt out and I turned to cutting to help deal with my problems. I clicked on this site not even realising it was a christian site and then nearly laughed out loud when I reached the point about trusting God. It was truely what I needed. Thank you so so much

    1. You're welcome, Hannah! We want you to know you are not alone in your battle with cutting. We have talked to many, like you, struggling with this addiction. If you ever need anything a HopeCoach is available 24/7 by online chat or phone to listen at http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp We are proud of you for reaching out to find hope and help!

    2. Fighting will only make it worse & more intense. Work WITH your brain 🙂 What you will need however...if you don't feel you're strong enough to do this "day and night" pattern yourself & maintain it, then find an accountability partner that you report to, to make sure it's done EVERY DAY...read my comment above 🙂

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