December 12th, 2011

Your Body Book, your scars

So I have written quite a bit about self-harm in the last few weeks for both Mental Healthy & Keep Smilin’ and covered the topic in some depth. All of my writing was concentrated on self-harm itself and coping strategies to get away from it, but what about after, when all that is left is the scars?

Today on the body image advent we covered just that topic, had a few submissions and Sarah and I did our own little videos on our thoughts on the subject.

In my video I spoke a little bit about a body being a little bit like a book, in that it tells a story about you, your life, your accomplishments and indeed the not so good bits. Every notch, nook, cranny, scar and mark has a story, each like a word in a book, so when you put it all together you get a story.

I really believe this and think that no matter what, it tells your story, it is part of you and in turn you should be proud of it. People who have self-harmed speak of shame, embarrassment and so many spend the rest of their lives covered up, daring not to show the scars with the dread of having to explain them to people. It was no different from me, yes I self-harmed as a teenager, is that a bad thing? Does it make me a bad person? Well no it doesn’t, if anything it is a sign that whoever it may be had a tough time, dealt with it and moved on with their lives, which in my eyes make those scars quite the show of strength.

Of course we have the funny moments, the scars from going flying, falling while messing around as a kid. We have the one’s that bring back memories of a good night or a good day out and we manage to look at them positively as like a ‘battle wound’ so to speak, so why do we inherently look on the scars that were deliberate as something negative, something bad, something to be ashamed of?

I think it is important to remember that it is nothing to be ashamed of, it is just another scar. But at the same time, I think it is important that we don’t ignore them, as they do tell their own story. It may be a funny one, a tragic one, an embarrassing one or even a sad one, but they are part of who we are, the chapter in our life.

As for those people that have self-harmed and carry those scars with them all the time the message is simple, while I am not saying to show them off, they are a show of strength, something you took ownership of and stopped, conquered and dealt with. It’s not a chapter that should be left out of our own little body book, if anything it is something to celebrate, as scars are something that were, not something that are anymore.

Here are my ramblings in video for the challenge;