Local woman spotlights struggle with self-harm

Local News

You’d think that when you’re feeling emotional pain, the last thing you’d want to do would be to cause yourself physical pain. But that’s not the case when it comes to the behavior called cutting.

On Saturday night, Altoona Community Theater will host a presentation called “Stitched.” It’s based on a book by an Altoona woman who began cutting her arms with a razor, when she was a teenager.

Marissa Carney will be watching when six women read from a play about her struggle. Cutting was the way she tried to cope with traumatic experiences and severe stress.

“It releases stimulants and endorphins into the brain and that makes you feel good. It also tends to take away the rush of emotions you may be feeling that you feel that you can’t control,” she explained.

It’s a dangerous practice that can be addictive. A lot of therapy and introspection, plus good friends helped Marissa stop cutting. She hopes her words can help others.

“It wasn’t just waking up and saying, ‘I’m healed it’s a miracle. I never need to do this again.’ It’s more of waking up everyday and taking the day as it comes and working really hard to find different methods of corralling my emotions,” Marissa said.

The free presentation of Stitched” will take place at 6:30 pm Saturday at the ACT rehearsal hall, next to Tom and Joe’s restaurant. Marissa will be on hand afterwards to talk about the play and answer questions.

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