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To Sam

I think I'm going to relapse! :(

I am a girl and I'm 13 years old. I cut myself with a blade from a pencil sharpener and whenever I see a pencil sharpener it makes me want to cut again (which isn't good because there are a lot of pencil sharpeners at school) I don't want my cuts to fade away as it makes me want to cut again (I don't know why, its weird)
I started cutting because I felt an overwhelming feeling of depression and I thought it would make me feel better. I'm not going to lie but it actually did make me feel better (which is scary)
On Friday at school I was leaning on my desk and my sleeve slipped down and my best friend saw 2 of my cuts and I said it was just the cat (I have 3 cats) Later on in that day I told another friend the truth about my cuts and she said that she used to cut 2 years ago (which made me feel better) and she said that she would help me. Later that day I told my other friend (the one I said was the cat) and she said that she was really worried about me so I promised them both I wouldn't do it again but I keep getting the urge to do it and I'm trying my best not to cut so I'm 3 days clean and its getting very hard to fight the urges!
I'm scared that I may relapse but I really want to keep the promise that I made to my friends!
What should I do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Self-harm can be really hard to stop once you've started to use it as a way to cope. Whenever we try to quit a habit or something we are addicted to there’s often a pattern that we follow. Sometimes that pattern can mean you relapse. If you’re trying to stop then you should always aim to never harm again, but it’s important to also understand and forgive yourself if this doesn’t happen exactly as you planned.

Relapsing when trying to quit a habit or addiction is a very normal part of the process for many people. You shouldn’t expect to relapse or aim for it, but if it does happen then it is okay – you haven’t failed. It’s just one more step towards ending it for good.

You talk about letting your friends down and breaking your promise to them. Sometimes we can try and change for the benefit of other people – and this can often end with us struggling to stick to the promises we’ve made. If you can think about and recognise the reasons you want to stop for yourself, you can use these to remind you why you don’t want to self-harm anymore.

Having your own motivations for stopping means you’re more likely to go through with it. Try making a list of reasons you want to stop. And try and make sure these are not about other people wanting you to stop or pleasing others. It’s important you find reasons to stop for you. Check out our self-harm coping techniques.

I hope this helps, but remember you can always talk more with a counsellor about self-harm if you’re looking for support.

Take care,

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