Heart to Heart: Scars

Today I would like to write about something personal. If you would rather read about product reviews and makeup tutorials, stop reading now.

My left forearm is covered in a number of scars. These come from a period in my life when I was very unwell. I was diagnosed with and treated for depression. When I was a teenager, I read about self harming in a magazine. I then made a big mistake – I tried it. To me it is not unlike smoking or drugs, even though I have never tried those. It is highly addictive. Do not think that you can do it once and that will be it. For many people it turns into a big part of their life that may never fully leave them.

Anyhow, this post is not about the cons of self harm. I just wanted to make it clear that I wish from the bottom of my heart that I had never tried it.

What I wanted to write about is the good old topic of accepting your imperfections. My left arm will never be perfect again. It will be revolting to some. It can be a trigger for judgment and stigma. For a long time I thought that I would have to hide my scars for the rest of my life. I started to hate shopping. All these three-quarter length tops that I couldn’t buy anymore. I bought an awful lot of shirts and blouses during that time. I went to parties with long evening gloves. I thought that I had no choice. I just couldn’t bear the thought of people looking at me and seeing what I had done to myself. And by people I mean my friends and family. I was sad and angry with myself.

During a family holiday I strained my back in the shower very very badly. I could hardly move without sharp pain shooting through my body. I was in a hotel with my parents and my brother. My mum is a physio therapist. She could have easily treated it. But I couldn’t let her. I couldn’t ask her to take off my shirt. So I didn’t tell my family anything. I went to breakfast with them. I have never gritted my teeth so much before in my life. I had to move so so carefully so I wouldn’t flinch or cry out, yet I had to appear as if nothing was wrong. My mum asked me three times if I was ok. I lied and said yes.

This is to show you how far I was willing to go in order to hide my imperfections.

Things have changed. Most important of all, I got better and I got ‘clean’. I stopped. My scars began to fade. It was still very nervous about showing them. I still am, to some degree. But I am getting better at accepting my scars as a part of myself that isn’t all that horrible. I will never be proud of them. I will never show them off. But if it is a warm day, I will take my cardigan off. I roll up my sleeves again when I do the dishes. I take my hoodie off in dance class after the warm up. Small steps that feel like I am getting huge chunks of freedom back. I feel a lot less sad and resentful.

So although this blog is mainly about things that help you look more beautiful, we all have our imperfections. Many of them won’t be self-inflicted like my scars, but some may be. Either way, I am starting to learn that it is ok to have them.

P.S.
There is one rule I still live by. I will cover my scars around children and young people. I once copied some teenagers in a magazine. I don’t want anyone to copy me.

I made a video back in the day when I was blogging mainly about mental health about how to treat self harm scars so they fade quicker. If you are interested you can watch it on my YouTube channel.

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7 Comments

Filed under Chit Chat, Heart to Heart

7 responses to “Heart to Heart: Scars

  1. hello,
    i give you Kudos for talking about your scars. Like you, my left arm is covered in scars as I was going through a tough time during my teenage years and young adulthood. it is painful but I do not hide them. To me, they are a reminder of a bad time in my life where I got better. And you are right it is like an addiction like no other. Even now I am tempted but I just cannot do it anymore. The lure it held over me it does no more.

  2. Although I don’t have any physical scars I have many emotional scars that I’m still getting over. One of the main reasons I wear makeup is because I feel like it makes me feel special. I know I don’t know you but I’m proud that you feel comfortable letting your scars show.

  3. Thank you for sharing. ❤

  4. You are very brave for sharing your story with us. Well done ❤

  5. Clare

    I think it was incredibly courageous to share your story, I too suffered from the extreme shame that my scars left on me. The cuts on my arms were sparse and relatively easy to fade. However my upper thighs (my preferred area) were scarred for what felt like forever and even once they were no longer obvious to others, I was still able to the see the faded lines perfectly. I told myself I would never be in a relationship for fear of having to explain them and having anyone else know just how much I hated myself. Ironically it was a relationship that helped me feel beautiful for the first time, but my recovery involved a lot more than that. As difficult as it was, applying Bio-Oil (oil specifically for healing scars) daily and light exfoliation with a loofah every other day, helped the physical appearance and to reconnect with my body once more as apart of me and extension of my soul.

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