Scars: A poem to anyone who has suffered from depression or self-harmed (and also those who haven’t, I suppose)

I have scars.

We all have scars

Memories that never fade, blemishes that are here to stay

They’re like souvenirs

Skin memorabilia, your own Wikipedia

Your silly secrets branded on your sacred flesh.

There are some that are happy.

Scraped knees from playing kiss chase in Year 1

That one friction burn from your first love fun

The time you drunk burnt the nachos, then yourself

The painless marks caused by your shameless student self.

Then there are those which expose your identity

Expose the lowest of lows in your life, your hidden history.

When you have grown so much and come so far

Some scars show just how frail we are.

“You’ll have those on your wedding day,”

Dad said as I shook with shame, only myself to blame.

That’s what I felt like.

Some say it’s for attention but I have never wanted more deflection

Than in the moments that expose my secret even to those who I am closest to.

It’s been years. Years since the tears that I cried on that bathroom floor.

Years since teenage me, so lost and confused, had no clue what to do

No clue how to deal, how to feel, how to figure out whats real and what’s not.

No clue why I, someone so lucky and so blessed, could be selfish enough to feel this depressed.

It has been years. Years of wearing long sleeves, just wanting to be

Myself.. without silly scars.

Years of buying bracelets to cover the truth, to hide the struggle with my insecure youth.

And it’s silly.

I shouldn’t hide the scars on my knee, on my elbow or wrists

I am at one with the blades and the kiss

That I got in Year 1, along with the scar that came with it.

I am so happy and fortunate to be alive and to be me.

Sure, learning to meditate doesn’t solve the uncertainty

But I am certain that the wanting to hide does not come from the shame of the scars that don’t fade.

The wanting to hide comes from the fear

The fear of what lies behind concerned eyes, being naked and exposed and deconstructed and reconstructed,

as if seeing scars has somehow made me a different me.

It hasn’t.

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