Why I Love My Scars

This seems like the standard article to write nowadays: why some people may love their stretch marks or the pimple scars they have from high school. But in the past, I’ve always been the type of person to usually avoid those articles, just based off the fact that I didn’t love my scars at the time, or that I just didn’t have those kinds of injuries on my body. The stretch marks people talked about all the time were minuscule compared to mine, so I never felt the real need to read something that was loving something so small on their body.

Until now.

It’s been a long time for me and scars. They started out with me breaking my arm as a four-year-old. Although that scar wasn’t as bad as what would come, it still symbolized something for me early on: that wounds were never really considered beautiful. Then middle school came along.

I was overweight as a child. I’m not going to get into the specifics of how I did it, but I lost a lot of weight the end of eighth grade and the beginning of high school, so much that I had to put some back on to be considered as healthy again. Even then, I was still incredibly insecure, and that’s when I started to notice the stretch marks everywhere.

They were on my hips, my thighs, even some on my arms and my breasts. Some I knew was because of how quick I developed as a child. My body started to change as early as fourth grade, so the marks on my breasts weren’t that big of a surprise. But as I grew older, the ones that developed on the rest of my body were entirely because of my weight issues as a child.

Yes, I do know that there are ways to remove stretch marks, from certain lotions people can use to surgery for the most expensive sufferer, but because I’ve never been flourishing in millions of dollars and the cream just never worked, I started just to get used to the marks. Until the end of high school.

Although for most of high school I was remotely okay with my marks, it all kind of changed around the middle of senior year. I was one of the many people who had dated my ex twice, and now was talking with them again to a point where it almost looked like something might happen again, and then he dropped me, basically throwing me under the bus when I thought that everything was going to be okay.

It was my fault for letting that happen in the first place, but the pain I felt that day - the utter betrayal - was enough to change me for a long time.

I didn’t talk to him for the rest of my senior year, but once college came around, my self-esteem had never been as low as it was my freshman year. The first week of school, I met my current boyfriend and I thought that if I were with someone who truly loved me for who I was and not for the marks on my body, I would be alright. But that was never the case. In fact, it got only worse. I could blame it on the birth control I was taking at the time, because once I did start to take a new pill, the emotions went away - but my insecurities were already off the charts at this point, and they just seemed to skyrocket.

I cut myself three times last year.

A lot of people ask me why I did it. What sort of pleasure do I get from harming myself? From slitting my skin? The truth is, every time I did do that, it was because I was having a panic attack because I felt like I wasn’t good enough for anything, for my family, for my boyfriend, for my friends, and I would just cut myself to feel something to send the aching pain away.

I know I screwed up a lot last year, but most college students do. That’s sort of what college is about besides the academics, finding yourself and moving on from your past lives, becoming someone new. I mean, I broke my arm again last year, adding to the scars I have. That was messy. I have a metal plate in my left arm now because of it, and now that scar is always going to be there.

And it’s not pretty.

But I’ve always been the kind of person that may be in a funk for a while, but when I’m out, I’m out. And right now, I’m in the right place. Last year was horrible to me. While I had amazing things happen, like going to my dream school and meeting my boyfriend, I still faced some of the most terrible times mentally I’ve ever had to face, probably a close second to my bullying experiences during middle school.

But even so, I can look back on last year with a bittersweet smile. I’ve grown since then, become a better person for myself and the people around me, and all I’ve ever tried to do since slowly getting better is just keep that process going. I sometimes go to therapy, talk with my family and boyfriend as much as I can, and make time to have some me-time with my gal pals every once and a while. Because no one can go through mental instability alone - it’s just not possible.

My scars are a symbol of how far I have come since those tough times. Although now I do look at them with some bitterness on my face, I can still remind myself that, “Hey, I’m not that girl anymore, and I’ll never be that girl again.” I’ve become stronger and more confident in myself, even through all the tough times.

My scars will always be there, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.