The Fault In Our Scars

13115613_10153966670146154_1795868006_nToday’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.

Kintsukuroi-photo

from jasminestar.com

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,

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11 thoughts on “The Fault In Our Scars

  1. Oh, what a beautiful post! I’d like first to say that, as someone who goes through a lot of depression myself without advertising it to others or acting like many (particularly those who haven’t experienced depression) would think a depressed person should, your tone has never come across to me as taking mental illness lightly, or made me suspect you of secretly not being depressed. In the first place, it has always been my belief that in order to write/talk about something with humour, you must know it intimately. In the second place, I’ve always seen you as someone who is able to write about her struggles in a very positive, optimistic way that benefits others, even though I know that, because of depression, you may not always feel very positive or optimistic. And to me, that takes a lot of courage, for which I admire you. Do I think your blogging voice is appropriate? Of course.

    I really liked the scar analogy, because I have a ridiculous amount of physical scars. I even have a scar from a paper cut! Sometimes I look at my arms full of white lines going this direction and that, or my leg with the jagged white ridge going up my shinbone, or my wrist with the little oval bump, etc., and think that I’d rather have smooth skin without imperfections. But for the most part, I’ve accepted my physical scars. I wouldn’t even want to remove them, given the chance. They are physical manifestations of things that happened to me. If I finish up my life with tons of scars, that’s just evidence that I lived. (Lived and was clumsy, but you know.)

    However, my emotional scars are different. Not only don’t I show them off to people and tell them the story behind them, but I hide them even from myself. I completely cover them up. I’d like to change that. I loved being reminded of Kintsukuroi. Really, we can’t go through life without accumulating emotional scars, but we can choose to sweep those broken pieces under a carpet and pretend nothing happened, or we can repair them with gold and put them on display.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this post so much, and your blog as a whole. I love the way you write about depression, and I wouldn’t have it other way. And sorry for this long-winded comment!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you sooo much for this comment Chloe! That is really encouraging to hear, I so appreciate your feedback! I am pleased to hear you think my approach is ok because it has worried me for a while. Thank you for putting my mind at rest 🙂 You are so right about scars being proof of our life, I should really look at it that way more. I tend to cover them up but I shouldn’t. I am sorry to hear that you have emotional scars too, they’re no fun at all, but you are doing an amazing job at life despite (or perhaps even because of) those scars. Kintsukuroi is so beautiful isn’t it, it’s amazing how it’s changed my outlook just by reading a tiny description. Thank you so much for commenting, much appreciated as always! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • I too, fell you write with such beauty and grace. There are two ways one can write about mental health, the wrong and offensive way, or the enlightening, genuine and heartfelt way. You my dear, write in the latter. I love this post by the way, and my favorite part is about the Japanese art of repairing ceramics with silver or gold. It is a such a beautiful concept, and an even more beautiful analogy. I remember reading on facebook, about a parent who sews her children’s ripped stuffed animals with gold thread, to show them scars are not to be ashamed of, but in fact beautiful. Lastly, I love the play on words in your title! 🙂 much love, and you my dear, are amazing. Keep fighting the good fight, and being YOU. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        • I am so sorry that I never replied to your lovely comment! What kind words, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them. And that is such a beautiful story about the stuffed animals – my stuffed frog has had multiple “surgeries” but I do love his mismatched thread scars… they just add to his character. So I should really see my own scars that way! Thank you so much again for your encouragement, you are so sweet ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this a lot. Thank you for sharing. I just want to give you a big hug. I don’t know what I can say to make the pain go away but just know, you’re being really brave and strong in dealing with it. You haven’t given up and I hope you never will.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for this comment! It gave me major warm fuzzies so the hug was definitely felt 🙂 I really appreciate that you took the time to read this and comment, I feel so grateful to have people like you and other bloggers who don’t judge me for the things I write or the way I feel. I am not planning on giving up any time soon, especially not with your kind words on board 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your blog posts are the most sincere ones, I have ever read, so, do not worry that your light hearted tone will make readers wonder, it needs great courage and strength to say lighthearted things about pain and sorrow, and, loved the reference to kintsukuroi. You have scars both physical and emotional, they are the reminders that troubles have not broken you, you are not shattered, you are a fighter,you are mended, you are whole and you are you. Good luck and have a great day, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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