July 2, 2010

Seven Days of Sunset ~Day 7… Scars…

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:53 am by eddejae

A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars. ~Carly Simon

I remember one morning, about two and half months ago, that I stood in front of my closet staring at the long row of twenty-something sweatshirts. Even though the the weather was starting to get warmer, calling for shorter sleeves, until that day I had refused to show my arms because of my many scars. I was ashamed of them, not wanting to be stared at or judged. I was deathly afraid of being asked questions and hated feeling self-conscious. Hardly anyone in my life knew I was a cutter, and the scars were too deep to use  the “cat-scratch” excuse. So I used the easy way out and just pretended I was cold-blooded.

However, something changed that morning. For the first time, I didn’t care what other people thought of me. I had finally gotten to the point in my recovery where I was open enough to accept myself with my flaws and let people think what they may. Perhaps it might even give someone else the courage to not be ashamed of their battle wounds either. I made the decision that morning to love my scars. I closed my closet, walked over to my chest of drawers, and pulled out a t-shirt. That day, I walked around with bare arms, my struggle with depression and BPD exposed to the world. Sure, I got a couple of glances, I was a bit uncomfortable, but in the end… I was ok. No one asked any questions. I didn’t break down. I didn’t panic. The world didn’t end. I was fine. And everyone else was fine. I was just me.

Perfectly imperfect me.

Now, my scars have faded quite a bit, but they’re still there. I’m getting married tomorrow. They’re not that noticeable anymore, but I will still have to use some cover-up for pictures. But I’m fine with that. To me, they are just indicators of where I have been and the things I have overcome. They are my battle wounds…markers that I have fought… And that I have won. That I am a warrior. The most important scars are the ones you don’t see… The emotional scars. And I am happy and relieved to say that those have been healed. Through therapy, time, commitment, and love… Those have been healed. And that’s all that truly matters. It IS possible. I can testify of that.

Healing is possible.

Hope is real.

Love is attainable.

Believe in yourself…

Keep fighting your battles.

And be proud of your scars.

They mean you’re strong enough to survive it all.

March 9, 2010

The Girl in the Mirror

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , at 6:07 pm by eddejae

This poem was inspired mostly by my own struggles with self-perception, but also partly by a fellow blogger who is also dealing with similar issues. Writing this was a learning experience for me, and I hope maybe it will help her too.

I wake every morning,

And remember.

Stumbling to the mirror,

I blink, and blink again.

The image looking back at me

Begins to cry.

The tally commences –

One, two, three, four…

Up and down my arms.

Scars I hide beneath

My sleeves.

My hands move unbidden

And span across

My middle, my chest, my thighs.

I turn away in disgust.

Cover my shame, hide my guilt –

The baggy old sweatshirt again.

I will not let you see,

I will not let you know,

These outward testaments of

My inward pain.

Smiles and sleeves and diet pills,

One secret for each scar.

Would you understand?

Would you turn in disgust, as I?

Fear me, label me, judge me?

Look through harsher eyes?

Would you question me,

Or perhaps prefer ignorance?

If you only knew

The scars that are cut

Into something deeper then

Mere skin.

If you only knew

The extra weight I carry

Comes from nights when

Food was my

Only friend.

But I am scared to tell you.

These walls keep me distant,

Yet protected,

From those I dare not trust.

How long until these scars fade?

How long until my reflection

Smiles back –

Confident, unashamed?

Last night I had a dream.

Before the mirror I stood again.

I clenched my fists and shut my eyes.

I screamed –

At myself, my scars, my body, my mind –

“I hate you!”

Then I heard a voice, gentle and low,

From where it came, I could not tell.

“Look. Look again. Yet deeper.

And see what I see.”

Hesitantly, I uncover my face.

I blink, and blink again.

The image looking back at me,

Begins to cry –

“Nothings changed! The scars remain,

I cannot bear to look!”

The voice replied,

“In those eyes I see a depth,

An understanding born of pain.

In your walk, a maturity,

A knowledge born of suffering.

I look at your hands and see

Your struggle with the world.

Your arms, they’re strong,

From lifting burdens,

Some never yours to bear.

Your legs are powerful,

Carrying you forward despite

Winds that threaten

To tear you down.

You see flaws and imperfections.

You see someone undeserving of love.

I see a girl with battle wounds,

Inflicted in a war with

The pain and injustice of this world,

With her past, with her demons,

With herself.

I see a girl who wants to be loved.

I see a girl tired of the pain.

I see a girl trying to get through the day.

Who has not given up on this life.”

“I see someone destined for greatness,

With so much inside to give.

You see weakness, I see courage.

You see despair, I see promise.

You see ugliness, but I…

I see beauty born from within.”

I awoke from the dream that morning,

And forgot.

Stumbling to the mirror,

To repeat the painful ritual –

One, two, three, four…

Then suddenly, the voice from

My dream resounded in my ears…

I remembered.

And looked again.

And smiled…

My scars were beautiful.