Today I get to speak about my scars. I get to reflect on the emotions that build up in the middle of the night, those that make you feel like you cannot breathe, the ones that no one else sees. I have finally found the courage to write about the moments that I do not speak about.
You do know the feeling that gets you sick to your stomach, right? How your chest tightens, how labored your breathing gets, the tremors you get as your eyes become glassy? Can we take a moment to acknowledge how scary that feeling is? Can we acknowledge how absurd it is to feel asphyxiated in a well-ventilated room? All this because your brain chooses to shut down emotions it cannot deal with. Its genuinely fascinating if you ask me.
Every time I stare at my right hand, I can see the pain I couldn’t take anymore, the things I suppressed because I could not find the courage to speak out. Every person has that untold story that created their coping mechanism; healthy or unhealthy. Some choose to wear their scars while others do away with them. I have always chosen to wear mine.
The last few years of my life have been eventful. I have created the best memories and I have had the worst experiences. People say that that’s the beauty of life. That I will have stories to tell my children but I think I’ll pass on that. I am not ready to openly discuss my anxiety and the darkness associated with it. Shouldn’t I protect my children from that darkness? Isn’t that what my intuition and instinct is for?
I came to notice that people underestimate how scarring anxiety is. We have been raised to believe that there are always bigger problems and mental health is a non-factor. I mean how our generation has turned out speaks volumes on the need to protect our mental health.
I am not proud of my scars; I never have been. I hate the fact that it drew a sense of comfort whenever I marked my skin. I hate the fact that my breathing would regulate the moment I would see the little dots of blood forming around the small cuts. I hate the adrenaline I would accumulate while pushing down the blunt piece of glass on my skin. I hate how the physical pain would mask how broken I felt. Thing is, during these moments, I had no idea how addictive this was, that I’d one day run out of space and that these scars would be a permanent reminder of how I hit rock bottom. Even after learning this, a part of me did not want to stop because it gave me some sick sense of control.
I wish I could come up with something more literary to explain the above. I wish I could explain the reason behind the action because I do not like the healing process nor the scars that come with it. According to an article I found while piecing this together, psychologists are yet to determine why people self-harm but found the inter-relationship between physical and emotional pain. Their theory being, one emotion masks the other making them co-dependent.
I would be lying if I said that I wouldn’t do it again but I would like to believe that one day I will love myself enough to continuously see the beauty of life even in the darkest times. I would like to believe that the scars I do not see would fade just like those I painted on my arm. I need to live knowing that its not always going to be as dark, that my eyes won’t always be as glassy, that my stomach won’t always be in knots, that my chest won’t always be this tight. I will have to believe and see that I am loved and just as beautiful as my scars.
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