We all have scars – some of our scars are emotional and some are physical. The physical ones, the scars that leave a permanent mark on our skin, change our physical appearance. The events surrounding your scars and the appearance of your scars also greatly impact your psychological state.
You might have a small scar from falling off a bike when you were a child. Or maybe you have a large scar from when you accidentally spilt boiling water while cooking. Or your scar has a terrifying story behind it.
The fact that something bad happened to you leaves permanent consequences for your health & wellbeing. But to also have to deal with a visual reminder of that event, is really hard.
The Story of My Scars
Long after the event that caused my extensive scarring, I still struggled with PTSD. Often waking up in the middle of the night after dreaming about it. I was reliving the event over and over again during the day. There were days when I felt immense regret. Where I would give anything to go back in time and do things differently.
I would dream that during the most difficult period in my life, I would have just packed up my bags and left. Travelling somewhere and away from the people who were bad for me.
The reality is that we can never go back, what is done is done, and we have to move forward. This was easier said than done.
Then there were days when I would feel overwhelming grief. It was grieving the life I had before my scars and the person I was before my scars. But most of all, my freedom. Freedom that I didn’t know I had before I suffered the scars. That freedom looked so tempting now, looking back. It felt devastating that I could never truly feel the same way again. Visiting places that have hot weather and being carefree. Not thinking about what others will think of me and my scars, their judgemental and curious looks. I was often mulling over all the activities that I would miss out on. This was all a source of my grief.
Scars Make You Uncomfortable and Worried About Your Future
My scars also made me feel uncomfortable around doctors, who have previously let me down during that very vulnerable period. There are plenty of doctors who are very judgemental but I guess it’s normal as they are just as human as the rest of us.
I also worried about my future. My career and my relationships – how will I ever live a normal life?
Will I be able to have a job? Will I have to come up with excuses not to join that team building in a sports center? Or go out for a drink on a hot summer day?
Will my partner accept me with all my scars and stories that still haunt me? Memories that don’t seem to fade, no matter how much I meditate and practice acceptance.
All of these things constantly occupied my mind, I was worried about my present and my future.
Surgery to Improve the Look of my Scars
Thinking of the years that followed, it was tough and still is. Even though I underwent reconstructive surgery that helped improve the look of my scars and lifted a heavy burden I was carrying around, I still battle this every day. It is so hard to accept that you will never be the same again.
But it’s also an opportunity to be grateful. Without this experience, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I would not have the power, resilience, determination, resourcefulness, and courage. There is a big part of me that accepts and appreciates what I have now. The life I live – I cherish it. I am grateful every day. I am also much more open-minded and understand that everyone has their story.
My growth might not have been as steep as it was due to what happened to me. My scars are reminders of a battle that I won. And I need to be proud of them and accept them as a big and important part of who I am. They didn’t break me, they made me.
I am a warrior and I will overcome my limitations. I hope others can find some inspiration from my words, and together with me, find meaning and purpose.
You can read my personal story of dealing with scars in my book Living With Scars.
You can read more about scars in these posts:
- My Scars Affect My Life
- Women’s Swimsuits to Cover Up Scars
- Types of Scars
- 5 Best Treatments for your Acne Scars
- Scars Can Change Your Life
- Best Treatment for Self-Harm Scars in 2021
- Hypertrophic and Keloid scars – How to improve them
- How to Get Rid of Scars and Improve Your Skin
- Best Scar Removal Treatments in 2021
- Burn Survivor Shares Her Story – Burn Scars from Childhood