So, That Happened.. !!!
Note: Trigger warning this post.
About a week ago, I posted this picture on my blog instagram @hctblog. I participated in the #PerfectlyMe campaign by Seventeen Magazine to help promote positive body image. Little did I know, SEVENTEEN was going to regram my picture later that week, and my message would reach far over 1,000 people!! Whaaaaaat?
It is unbelievable to me that all of these good things keep coming one after the other. Each time I leave my comfort zone, I am rewarded in some way.
So here's the thing..
Left: Me, July 2016.
I told myself that with recovery, I was not going to be the girl who wore long sleeved shirts in the summertime.
One, because I love the summertime.
Two, because by protecting myself, I would be shaming myself as well.
If I was going to work on treating myself with care, I was going to have to learn to accept myself as I am.
It wasn't immediately, because it was very new. It pained my family to see those marks, even though I was doing better.
The weather got warmer, and I wanted to wear short sleeves. I started with 3/4 length sleeves, and passed the school halls with little attention on me. I soon gained the strength to wear short sleeves and tank tops. I sat in my classes. I was aware that some people would stare, but I just continued to act as me.
Some of my friends would say, "What happened to your arm?" I just looked at them, and they said, "Oh, I'm sorry."
Now this is it. This is how I would respond:
"Don't be sorry. I'm better now." I would smile, despite how hard it was. Eventually it got easier. The "I'm better now" showed me that these marks were a symbol of what I have survived, and a reminder that I am still here. A "yeah, shit happened" "but I'm not gonna hide because of it."
I find that college is so much different than high school. People notice, but they don't ask. They've had their own shit. They are more understanding, respectful, educated, and less judgmental. They don't treat me any different, or express sympathy for me. I carry myself with a "yes I have my battles" attitude, and use that confidence to show others I have no shame, and we should not stigmatize those who do.
I do not condone self-harm.
I have made mistakes.
I need to be my friend again.
To be my friend again, I shall make up for it by treating myself with love and self-care.
People stare. Let them. People talk. Don't listen to them.
I have found that you do not own anyone an explanation for your own journey.
It is yours for a reason.
5 examples of how I show myself that I love myself:
- I listen to my body, and meet its needs
- I surround myself with positive people
- I do what makes me happy
- I move. Some days I do yoga, or go for a run, and some days my only exercise is walking outside. And that's okay.
- I make sure that each day, I laugh really hard, and smile very big.
A Boston social work student, using writing for healing. Sharing the peaks and valleys of an empath's mental health journey.
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