​Embrace Your Scars

​Embrace Your Scars

They're beautiful, just like you.
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I remember that day like it was yesterday. The day that I learned to embrace my scars was the second best day of my life, the first being the day I got them.

When I was 14 years old, I was burned, leaving scars on 20 percent of my body. It was very difficult for me to accept my scars. I tried to put on a brave face and act like everything was fine, but I was truly breaking inside. I completely hated myself because of my scars.

For some reason, scars are ugly, according to society. I was ugly. I didn't feel worthy of anyone's love, not even my family. I didn't want to spend time with my friends because I didn't want them to have to be seen with me. I was trapped behind my scarred skin.

I was able to attend a retreat called Angel Faces shortly after my burn injury. It was there when I realized how beautiful my scars are. Everyone had some sort of scarring, whether it was from a fire or car accident or a dog attack. Everyone had a story to tell. Everyone was the same situation. Everyone was "normal" (whatever that means) for the first time in months, even years. There was no staring or teasing or being ashamed of who we were. I was able to see the true beauty of everyone around me and I began to see myself as beautiful. I began to realize that the day I went through the fire was not the worst day of my life, but it was actually the best.


I realized that I shouldn't be ashamed of my scars. I beat the fire. You see, scars show the battles you've been through. The battles that you've won. Whether your scars are from a fire, like mine, or surgery or self-harm or even emotional scars, you're stronger because of them. You overcame whatever it was that tried to hurt you.

The scars become a part of who you are. They become a part of your story. Your journey. Your triumph. Your life. Don't hide them. Share the story behind your scars. You never know who you will impact.

I truly believe that my scars are beautiful. I'm beautiful. There's nothing I can do to get rid of my scars and honestly, I would never want to. I get to look at my scars every single day and remember how strong I was. How strong I am. I can't imagine my skin without my beautiful scars.


So please, if you're struggling or trying to cover your scars, just remember that they are beautiful. Remember the battle that you fought and won. You survived the battle. You are a warrior. You are beautiful. Hold your head up high. Be proud of yourself. I'm proud of you.

Embrace your scars. Embrace your journey. Learn to love yourself. Every single flaw and scar.

Cover Image Credit: Tiffany Bates

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.

nadoty
nadoty
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Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.

nadoty
nadoty

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