And that's exactly it. I haven't in all my years of cutting and recovery from cutting, found a more apt description of how cutting feels. The way I illustrate it to friends, family and laypeople is to point my finger at my forearm, then point my finger at my head and say, in succession, "The pain, the gore, the wretchedness of THIS (pointing to arm) makes you forget all about what's wrong up here (pointing to head)." I'll bet ya most of the people who cut have friends and loved ones who don't have ANY idea that they cut. I certainly didn't. It's SO easy to hide...from everyone except yourself.
Self-harm IS relief. It is also hugely dangerous and destructive. I haven't cut in almost 5 years, not because I haven't wanted to. My scars faded into oblivion and I got tattoos on the arm areas I used to cut. I'll be damned if I'm fucking up my tattoos. Especially with the bout of major depression and suicidal ideations I've had recently, the impetus to cut has been very strong, but I haven't gone through with it. And I don't think I will, and it's not just because I'm on like 14 different psychotropic medications.
But there is relief other than cutting out there. There is cognitive behavioral therapy, which'll teach you healthier coping mechanisms. There is medication that can curb the urge to self-harm. In an emergent situation, there's this:
Remember: You're beautiful just the way you are. You truly are.