Garbage Lead Singer Shirley Manson Writes Moving Op-Ed About Self-Harm

Garbage’s lead singer Shirley Manson has written a moving op-ed about self-harm called “The First Time I Cut Myself,” which was published today in the New York Times.

In it, she recalls the negative self-image that led her to begin harming herself as a teenager, and spoke of how the urge returned even at the height of her fame. She writes:

The first time I cut myself, I was sitting on the edge of a bed inside my boyfriend’s flat.

It was late. He and I had been arguing for some time, our voices gradually becoming more and more raised. I was concerned that we might wake his flat-mates, and in a moment of utter exasperation, I reached across for my little silver penknife, pulled it from the lace of my shoe and ran the tiny blade across the skin of one ankle.

It didn’t hurt.

I did it again.

And then I did it again.

I looked dispassionately at the three thin red lines I had made and watched as tiny little bubbles of my blood oozed to the surface.

My boyfriend snorted in disdain and called me some nasty, misogynistic names before turning his back and immediately falling asleep. I felt somewhat elated, as I imagine a scientist might while working on an experiment that suddenly, after much persistence, has yielded favorable results.

In that room at that moment, I felt untouchable and powerful. I was a woman in charge.

More than that, I felt a warm surge of comfort and relief. Relief from the rage. A relief from the powerlessness. Something had happened that didn’t feel right, and here were lines of my blood to bear witness to it and speak of it on my behalf.

Read the article in full here.

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