I posted this on my page, It’s okay to love yourself, in hope that I could help people with scars from self injury to feel less insecure and to open up their freedom. I was directed to this page because an admin from NAMI called it “inspirational.”
Why I Show My Self Harm Scars
I’ve had them all for about a year and a half, though some older. Only about two months ago did I allow my self to stop wearing long sleeves over my arms. Over my scars from when I used to cut.
For some my decision is controversial. It is obvious how I got them, and I could easily be judged. How is that worth it?
I didn’t just do it on a whim one day. It took months of preparation. First I allowed myself to walk in the house with my family around who could see them. They already knew of my issues and were glad to see that I trusted them enough.
Next I allowed my best friend to see them. One night I was sweating as we were watching TV and I took off my hoodie. I was horrified. I didn’t want it to cause him pain by seeing them, but he didn’t seem to judge me. I think at first he was a little shocked to finally see them, even though he already knew they were there. I just felt uncomfortable. Maybe more uncomfortable than when I was toasting in my sweatshirt in a summery-hot, non air conditioned area. But I knew it was something I had to do. Some of my scars may never go away. I couldn’t live the rest of my life hiding.
A few weeks later was the first time I went in public with a tank top. It was the first time in about two years. I felt naked. I felt ashamed and exposed. Still, I pushed myself to grow. I knew the feelings would ease in time… Or at least hoped they would.
And about a week after that I wore a regular tee shirt to a party with nearly all of my friends, many of whom had no idea I used to have the addiction. Some of them stared unintentionally. I wanted to cry, but I carried on.
I told myself many things to keep going.
“I look hot in tank tops.”
“I have nearly passed out from heat exhaustion before. Long sleeves are not year round items.”
“Seeing my confidence could help other people no longer hide their problems from me.”
These mantras were so precious to me. They kept me strong and they worked.
Today I feel so much better. I don’t have to worry about becoming overheated as much. I don’t have to limit the clothes I buy (trust me, long sleeves are harder to find cute clothes in. They feel unsexy to me to wear every single day). I don’t have to worry about someone I’m dating to be thrown off when they eventually would probably see them, if you catch my drift.
Most of all, I just feel happy. I feel free. I am stronger for challenging myself and yes, actually succeeding!
I finally feel beautiful.
Just remember, there is no shame in showing your past. The past is behind you now.