I used to cut but then I stopped. I was really good for a few months, but lately
I’ve felt like cutting again — and then tonight I actually did.
Now what do I do?
It's tough to find yourself going back to cutting when you worked so hard to overcome
your struggle. Falling back into a bad habit is known as a relapse, and relapses are
pretty common when people are trying to make a major change. If you relapse, it might
seem like you're back where you started. But change is a learning experience, and
a relapse is part of learning a new way of doing things.
You can get back on track.
Start by thinking about what triggered the relapse. Think about the emotions
that led you to cut. For example, were you feeling misunderstood, lost, alienated,
desperate, or angry?
Then remind yourself why you decided to stop cutting before. How did you do it
then? Write down what worked for you. Reach out to someone who cares about you. Think
about how to express powerful emotions in ways that don't cause harm. Some people
turn to painting, dance, athletics, music, poetry, or keeping a journal as ways to
get through the pain. Others find they need more support from a counselor or therapist
— everyone is different and different people cut for different reasons.
It can also help to remember that you're not really back where you started —
this time you've got previous success on your side. You know how it's done and, more
important, you have done it. You can find the inner strength to do it again.