Today’s daily prompt, Scars, has come at the perfect time for me. I’ve been worrying a lot lately that my writing takes mental health troubles too lightly. That people may resent me for trying to make my posts more cheerful than they should be. A very vain and insecure part of me also worries that people won’t believe me when I say I’m depressed, because I can never seem to convey it in my writing. With that in mind, I feel compelled to explain why I choose to keep a lighthearted feel to my blog, even while discussing something as big and black and slow and soul-destroying as depression. I want to talk a little about the thousands of scars, visible and invisible, that cover my body and yours. I want to talk about what those scars mean to me.
Just like everyone else on the planet, I have acquired a silvery scrapbook all over my body of the physical scars collected over a lifetime. There was that time when I was seven, when I tipped my chair backwards and sliced my ear open on the metal corner of the kitchen counter. There was that time when I was ten, when I toppled sideways on my brand-spanking-new rollerblades and cut my knee on a rusty nail. There was that time when I was twenty one, when I had surgery for endometriosis, which left me with four silver criss-crosses speckled over my stomach. And there were those 18385783495986043 times when my cat loved me so much that she felt the need to etch her love into my skin (just go with it, okay?!). These scars are daily reminders of past hurts, and most of the time I am wont to cover them up.
Then there’s the other kind of scar. The kind that no-one can see but that you can always feel – the dull, aching throb of “remember when, remember when, remember when”. Remember that time when I was eleven and my parents told me they didn’t love each other anymore? Remember that time when I was fifteen, curled in the corner of the shower, crying until I couldn’t breathe, for no reason at all? Remember that time when I was sixteen and in love, and I discovered my body didn’t work the way I wanted it to? Remember that time when I was nineteen and still in love, but medication fogged my thoughts and I couldn’t give my kind and gentle man the energy or time he deserved, and I lost him? Remember that time when I was about to turn twenty three, and I burst into tears in the middle of the bookstore because I just felt so tired of feeling tired, so sick of feeling sick, so fed up with feeling nothing?
Oh wait, that last one was yesterday.
Now, I am well aware that the title of this post is excruciatingly cringeworthy, and I’m afraid that’s just too bad. I have chosen the name because I believe there IS a fault in our scars. The fault is: we treat them like, well, scars! Like blemishes, like imperfections! We hide them. We pretend they’re not there. I hide the knobbly, shiny scar on my ankle under a pair of socks. I hide the angry, deep purple scar on my self worth behind a sunny smile and a cheerful blog post. But earlier today I rediscovered the most beautiful concept I have ever come across, and I want to share it with you now in the hope that it may change the way you see your scars. It certainly has changed the way I see mine.
Kintsukuroi is the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with gold or silver, instead of just gluing the pieces back together. The result of this practice is an object which is more beautiful because it was broken. The beauty would not be there had the object not been damaged to begin with.
Is that not the most beautiful thing you ever heard?! On that note, I want leave you with the knowledge that no matter what scars you may have, you are 10000x more beautiful to have made it through whatever ugly moments gave them to you. You are braver and stronger because of your scars, so wear them proudly. I am trying to be more at peace with my scars, particularly the emotional ones, which is why my blog is usually written in a more upbeat voice than this. It’s all part of my mission to be okay with myself. I would love if you could tell me your thoughts on whether you think my blog voice is a little wrong/inappropriate for the subject matter, as I truly value your feedback!
Thanks so much for reading, and I’m sorry if this post was a little jumbled…it’s 3am here in New Zealand right now! In case I haven’t said it recently, you are all so amazing and my life is so much richer knowing I have people all over the world who I relate to.
All my love and cyber-hugs,