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.
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.