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Why I Decided to Stop Hiding My Self-Harm Scars

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Editor’s note: If you struggle with self-harm, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

The remaining white lines are always going to be a reminder of when I felt hurting myself was my only option. A reminder of when I was numb and felt nothing, and felt there wasn’t anything I felt was worth living for.

I didn’t want to die though, I just wanted to feel; to feel something other than nothingness. And that’s what self-harm provided me.

At first, I would feel relief… then anger and sadness because I broke down and did it when I told myself so many times that I wouldn’t.

The following weeks, I would wear long sleeves or long pants to cover up the fresh marks. Sometimes I’d cover them with makeup. I’d do all I could to make it appear as if the marks didn’t exist.

I didn’t want anyone to know. I felt I’d be judged. No one had the slightest idea what I was going through and I didn’t want to let on that I wasn’t as put-together as I appeared to be.

But here’s the thing: Trying to hide them and cover them caused so much stress, so much anxiety over what I assumed people would think, over how it would change the way people saw me. So, I stopped. I tried my hardest to stop self-harm in general and I gave up trying to hide the scars already on my body, because yes I have had my struggles, so why should I make it seem like I haven’t?

Years of severe anxiety, severe depression, eating disorders and self-harm really took a toll on me. But you know what? I made it through. I am here. I am strong and I am still going. I have goals and I have a purpose. Those scars are a part of me; they reflect a difficult time in my life, but I hope those who see the faded white marks can look past them and see the woman I am today.

Maybe instead of being ashamed, I should consider the fact that I overcame most of those troubles. I have a type of strength that some people may never understand. I am alive and I am well. Why hide that?

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

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Thinkstock photo via Jupiterimages

Originally published: June 26, 2017
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