Cutting, skin cutting, also known as “emo-cutting” is a major issue of self-harm among teenagers and adults today. Self-injury is also related to issues of self-esteem and self-worth.
Falon, a former cutter, gives three questions you or anyone struggling with low self-esteem and cutting should ask.
This is probably the most important question of all. Look back at your life for patterns, events, or situations that caused a negative change in the way you looked at life. What I’ve found is that certain emotions drive behaviors like cutting such as: anger, loneliness, depression, low self-esteem, and rejection.
All the emotions listed above are usually bottled up and there seems to be no way to release or cope with them. Cutting was a way to let it all out. For that brief moment, all the bad vibes are released. It’s also an issue of control. Life seems to be out of control and because you can only control yourself, cutting gives a false feeling of you being able to dictate your own pain and how it affects you.
Cutting or any other destructive behavior is not the issue, but the emotions and mindsets attached to them are. Here are four action steps to changing habits of low self-esteem and cutting.
Action Step 1. Deal with WHY you have those negative feelings. Once you’re able to figure out those feelings, choose how you want to respond.
Action Step 2. Make a list. Determine the things that happen in your life that you can and cannot control. The things and people you can change, change; those you can’t, don’t worry about!
Action Step 3. Get help! Find someone to talk to. Real friends are there to listen even if they can’t help. If you don’t trust your friends or peers, a school guidance counselor or trusted adult would be a great place to start.
Action Step 4. Cry, write, draw, exercise, create things – do whatever you have to do express how you feel.
Remember that cutting only hurts you. Using it as a form of revenge towards parents or other people that make you angry or who’ve hurt you does not impact them anywhere near as deeply as it will impact you.
See beyond the moment. Your teens are only a stitch in time compared to what you have the rest of your life to look forward to. Use the energy that goes into cutting or hiding your pain and apply it to bettering yourself. Work hard in school, get involved in extra-curricular activities, or focus on any hobby that you’re passionate about.
Help someone else. Believe it or not helping someone else with a need will help you to put your own life into perspective.
Don’t compare! You were born to be you and only you! Attempting to measure up to anyone else’s life or opinion will never work. Embrace you!
The suggestions above are just a start. If you are cutter, talk to a trusted friend or love one. And seek professional help.
If you have no one to talk to email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will put you in contact with some helpful resources.