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help me!


I have try outs in a couple of weeks, and the uniforms are short sleeved! what do I do!?!

Letter submitted by:


Dear Jenna,

Even without more details of your story, it seems that you’re very concerned that your cutting will be discovered. You didn’t indicate whether you’re still cutting or not, but clearly you’re a motivated person who wants to find a positive outlet which could help you feel good about yourself.

There are a few of things you can do, Jenna. Some people have skin conditions that make it hard to wear short sleeves, so you might ask a trusted adult if they think exceptions can be made to the short sleeve requirement. Better yet, call 1-800-DON’T-CUT to talk to someone for advice about your uniform concern. You can also go online to and to learn about cutting, find people who can talk about it with you, and discover additional things you can do when you have the urge to cut.

Some people use cutting as a release from tension, stress, or anger (either at themselves or at others), and others feel that it gives them a bit of control in their lives where otherwise they would feel completely out of control. But it’s important for you to know that cutting may feel better briefly but the longer it goes on, the more dangerous it can become. It can cause permanent scars, infections and serious, and sometimes life threatening medical problems especially if you cut a major blood vessel. If cutting helps to release anger, try getting the anger out in another way like hitting a pillow, stomping around in heavy shoes, ripping up an old newspaper or flattening aluminum cans. If cutting helps you when you’re sad, do whatever makes you feel taken care of and comforted. It would be great if you didn’t feel anxious about wearing short sleeves, so if you need to talk to someone, many professionals are qualified to help you deal confidentially with your anxiety, with cutting, and with the issues you are dealing with that cause your pain and anxiety.

Jenna, you are strong and smart to reach out for advice, so give yourself credit for writing to the Trevor Project. Remember that we are here for you and care about you. Whether or not you have the urge to cut, you can always call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) and talk with a Trevor lifeline counselor about what you’re feeling and experiencing.