Tuesday, 7 July 2015

To Regret Your Scars or Not To Regret Your Scars

TW: This post contains discussion of self-harm which may seem graphic in some places. This post is not intended to upset or cause distress to anyone; I'm hoping to reassure others who are struggling with this issue and to provide education for those who make assumptions of self-harm.

It's been very warm in the UK recently and wearing shorts and t-shirts on a regular basis has made me so much more aware of my scars. I have scars on both forearms and both thighs (front and back) and it's led me to wondering whether others have the same opposing feelings towards their scars. One day you hide them and regret them and another day you're comfortable showing them to the public. 

I hurt myself today,
To see if I still feel,
Tried to focus on the pain;
The only thing that's real
- Johnny Cash - Hurt

It's a difficult subject because personally, I have cut in a moment of distress and so once it was over - as they always are - I found myself... I'm trying to avoid using the word 'regret' as I'm one of those people that believe you shouldn't have any regrets in life. But it's the only word I can think of to describe this feeling. The moment passes and I no longer hear voices, my emotions are manageable or the medication has kicked in and I'm left thinking 'it's gone but I'm stuck with this blood and, eventually, scars.' 
Just as scars are not necessarily caused by cutting; cutting is not done in the exact same ways and therefore, does not cause the same gravity of scarring. Some people will almost 'dig' and others may 'swipe' and obviously the deeper and wider the cut, the worse the scarring. I, personally, used to cut by swiping at my skin with a sharp, in a 'scratch' effect and so most of my scars are thin but I found that if I thought about my trauma whilst cutting, the cuts were deeper and generally worse. Which brings me to my next point; scarring is unpredictable; it does not necessarily depend upon your motivation or on your 'tool.' For example, I used to use pieces from a smashed cup to cut with and you could never tell if a piece was sharp enough to cut really deep or if it would even make a scratch until you tried. You could also self-harm with the same 'tool' but have a different impact depending upon your motivation or intention.
The aspect of my life that my scarring has the most impact on, is what I wear; and what scares me the most is the thought that this will go on to my wedding day; when I'll feel the need to wear a long-sleeved wedding dress. 
The attitudes of scars can vary, some may view them as a sign of weakness and something to be ashamed and embarrassed of in that you have resorted to self-harm to get through something. Alternatively, they could be viewed as a sign of strength, a testament to your survival and a public show of how you have battled, struggled and beaten something

I believe that just as self-harming is an extremely personal topic, so is your view on your scars. I believe that those who hurt themselves, have the kindest hearts because they don't want to hurt others. If you're breathing with self-harm scars then you've won; and what a waste it would be to have regrets with the methods you've used to WIN

You can take everything I have,
You can break everything I am,
Like I'm made of glass,
Like I'm made of paper,
Go on and try to tear me down;
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper
- Demi Lovato - Skyscraper


Note: If you are having thoughts of self-harming please seek professional support. If you have self-harmed then please seek medical advice.