I'm Not Ashamed of My Self-Harm Scars

Alas, it is practically summer and it's time for shorts and everything else that exposes my body to the public. It has taken me a long time to come to accept my body for everything that it is, but regardless, I am not ashamed of my body - self-harm scars and everything else included.  I have struggled with self-harm for years and have plenty of scars to show for it. However, I am tired of hiding them for the sake of what others think. I'm not proud of my scars. I'm not proud that one of my unhealthy coping mechanisms is self-harming, however, I AM proud of my fight to overcome it. I want to live a life without cutting up my body.  I want to stick to healthy coping mechanisms. I don't want more scars. I want to help other overcome this addiction that is self-harming. 
I'm not going to hide them anymore. Every summer I debate what part(s) of my body will be exposed  based on the clothing I have, what scars I have and where. Generally, I try to hide my scars because I get too self-conscious about them. This year is going to be different though. I'm trying to disregard anyone else's opinions of my scars and what they insinuate. They are a part of me and a chapter of my life that I hope to finish with a positive ending. I may get dirty looks, judgmental stares, and whatever else comes with having these exposed to the world. But I am finished hiding them from everyone. I have an illness. I have an addiction. I am in recovery. I can't be ashamed of that anymore. I want to be strong. I am not going to hide anymore. The scars I have are as much of a part of me as my tattoos, or anything else I have incorporated into my body. They tell a story... if you are willing and want to listen. 

It is estimated that each year, 1/5 females engage in self-harm. I'm not the only one. Statistically speaking, at least a few of the people I meet and/or interact with have had experiences with self-harm. There is no use in hiding it. Self-harm is real. There are a lot of people hurting out there that take it out on themselves. I am one of them. 

Looking at the damage that one takes out on oneself may be triggering or even disgusting to some. However, I am not going to hide the fact that I self-harm anymore. Too many people are out there hurting in silence, afraid of others seeing the damage that they did to themselves. 

Although, I am far from conquering the addiction of self-harm, I am not going to be ashamed anymore. My scars are part of me and tell of a story of a girl fighting to get better. I'll handle the stares and everything else that comes with having a body full of scars from self-harm. Why? Because I am not ashamed anymore. I am proud of each day that I live to fight it. I want to show others that it is okay and they are not alone. The fight is hard but it isn't impossible. One day, I will be free of this addiction to self-harm. However, in the recovery process, I am determined to not let it define me. I am more than my scars. I am more than my addiction. I am more than the cuts I have made on my body. 

I can do this. It's far from being easy, and the temptations come and go. But I will fight this. I won't hide my fight or be afraid of talking about it. I want to overcome this and being ashamed of what I've done is going to get me nowhere.
I have scars. That's ok. I'm going to defeat this one day. 

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