I voted for "Baby the hair and grow out the damaged parts", though I really think "Baby the hair, grow out the damaged parts and wear it up a lot".
I have similar hair to yours and I, too, hate short hair on myself. I think if you cut it right now you may find it a little discouraging (not least of all because we curlies have to grow A LOT in order for our hair to look long - the springy factor).
If you baby your hair (maybe try co-washing, do deep conditioning a couple of times a week, etc.) you may be less inclined to impulsively do something like bleach or something else (trust me, I've been there).
And, keeping it up a lot will also keep you from doing anything impulsive. I also have found a lot of inspiration from the benign neglect thread:
Your hair looks lovely so you deserve to have it *long* and lovely!