A big small step forward #Recoverer from self harm
Today I wore a swimsuit to the beach. It doesn't sound like much but it was a lot.
Since I now live with a toddler and near a beautiful beach, we've been going swimming a lot. I decided to go down to Walmart (there's still few stores open in Michigan) and treat myself to a new swimsuit. I usually make sure to get something with a skirt or shorts because I don't like to show my "bikini area", but they had no such thing. I found a nice one piece that I liked and bought it anyway.
Today we decided to go to the beach. I threw some shorts on even though I thought it looked awful and hopped in the car. When we got there, I saw all of the other women with lots of different body shapes and decided to take the shorts off and go for a swim. My Mom encouraged me and we had a good time. I felt myself teetering between pretending no one could see the scars on my legs and not caring if they did.
Body image issues and self-harm shame collided with my need to get better and I know I made the right choice. I haven't shared my self-harm with my family and was worried about an uncomfortable conversation, but my Mom only said that I have nice legs and should be proud to show them off.
I don't often think about my scars outside of an occasional desire to make more, but it is mostly because I have strategically placed them so they are invisible to all but myself... unless I wear a revealing swimsuit. Being able to enjoy myself for an hour in spite of my scars and my body shape rather than by avoiding it doesn't exactly feel good (that retroactive anxiety is kicking in) but I know it is a huge step forward.
I'm proud to say that those scars are slowly fading and I hope that you may find encouragement and understanding as you go through your own journey.