Thinking about self-harming? Imagine this:
Your friends are going to the beach, and they invited you along. You love the beach, and swimming used to be one of your favorite things. But you have to tell them no. Why? Your scars will look purple and ugly against the bright pink of your swimsuit and there’s no way you can cover them up.
You decide to work at a summer camp for extra money. It is ridiuclously hot and so you cautiously leave the cabin in a tank top and shorts. Immediately, a little girl catches your eye. She runs up to you and points at the purple lines across your arms. She asks what they are, and keeps asking until you answer. She doesn’t understand why you run back to the cabin and come out with long pants and a jacket.
Now imagine it’s your wedding day. It’s spring time, and you stare at yourself in the mirror. The dress you originally wanted was gorgeous, but it showed your scars, so you had to pick the ankle-length one with long sleeves. The dress looks awkward on you, but you know that you have no other choice. No one can see your scars.
It’s your daughter’s high school graduation, and she is going to be valedictorian. You are so proud, and you plan to wear the nicest thing you own. Too bad it’s an outdoor graduation and the dress you picked out has short sleeves. You are forced to wear jeans and a sweatshirt. You look so out of place, and your daughter looks dissapointed when she sees you in the crowd.
You finally retired, and the whole office is throwing you a party. Your coworkers all get together and take you shopping for one last nice dress to wear to the party. You turn down every dress, claiming you don’t think it flatters you, when really it shows your scars. They all leave, and you still don’t have the dress you wanted. You can’t believe that your how life is changed because of something you did when you were just a kid, just your granddaughter’s age.
Now put that blade, or lighter, or whatever down. I know this isn’t how you want your life to go. No one wants that. I know you don’t want to be plagued by questions your entire life. Scars don’t go away, they stay forever. Those purple lines on your body, many are permanent. So stop now. Talk to someone. Just please, think about the consequences before you make that first, or fifth, cut.
You know at first I saw this post and I’m like wow, maybe this can help me and others who’ve struggled with self-harm, but then I realized, I think it may do the complete opposite. Please, forgive me if I’m being rude, and please, don’t take offense to what I say. But this is basically saying that because we’ve self-harmed, that we’re now restricted in what we wear and what we do. But how is that so?
I’m not saying that the events described above can’t happen, or that they don’t happen, because they can and I’m sure they do. But does having scars mean that I can’t hang out with my friends at the beach, enjoy my day, and wear a bikini because my scars are ugly? I can’t work at a summer camp in fear that someone may ask about my scars, someone may care why my skin is marked? I can’t choose the wedding dress of my dreams and instead have to settle with something that makes me feel awkward and not like the beautiful woman that I am (even with my scars) because nobody can see them? I have to pick out a different outfit and draw attention to myself, risking ruining the greatest day of my daughters life, because I have scars? And lastly, I have to restrain myself from enjoying my farewell party at work because I have scars?
So what does this all mean? That I can’t enjoy my life, spend time with my friends, work at a summer camp and help kids, wear the wedding dress of my dreams, maybe ruin my future daughters day, and stop myself from having a great time with great friends all because I have scars?
I’m sorry, but my scars don’t define me and they don’t stop me from living my life. My scars are a reminder of where I’ve been, they’re the roadmaps of my past, but they don’t carve out my future. They don’t hold me back from anything because my scars are a part of who I am. When I’m going to the beach with my friends, I’m going to flaunt my scars off, because even with them, I’m beautiful. When I work at that summer camp, I’m going to make sure that the students know that scars are proof that someone’s survived something traumatic. I’m going to make sure that I wear the wedding dress that I’ve been drawing/altering since I was 7 years old. I’m going to make sure that my daughter knows that she doesn’t have to be ashamed of her body, even if it has scars, that she should always embrace who she is and love every bit of herself and to never hold herself back from anything because of her past. And I’m going to make sure my coworkers buy me a fabulous dress for my retirement party because after all, that day is dedicated to me and my accomplishments, to how far I’ve come. And without my scars, without what I’ve struggled with in the past, I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today.
My scars aren’t ugly, my scars are beautiful. I love them, and I love myself. Don’t let your past hold you back from enjoying every bit of your life. You’re still alive, you have to continue to live no matter what you’ve been through or what you’ve done. You have to keep moving forward, keep your head up and don’t let the opinions of others bring you down. Don’t worry about what others think of you, because you’re beautiful. You’re all so fucking beautiful and worthy of life.