Love Is…Flaunting My Scars Like Lovely Accessories
A spinal surgery led me to love myself even more.
A few months ago I suffered a cervical spine injury and had to undergo surgery to correct it. Scared out of my mind and absolutely terrified of being put to sleep and under a knife for the first time, I prepared my nerves to accept the fact that I needed to get through one of the hardest feats of my life. I was ready to be cut in a sensitive place. I was ready to deal with a long recovery. I was ready to heal. The only thing I forgot to prepare for was the scar it would leave behind.
Three days after my surgery, I excitedly removed my bandage, ready to get back to normal. What I saw staring back at me gave me an anxiety attack. I didn’t recognize the new me and quickly thought I was now “tainted.” I used to love every inch of my neck and now I absolutely hated what I saw. Shaking and crying, I struggled to make sense of the new me and the ugly scar that now obviously defined me. I felt hopeless and depressed at the unfair and drastic change.
Gutted, and in between crying spells, I snapped the above photo and sent it to my closest friends. I wanted them to see the new, hideous me. The sooner they could accept me, the sooner I could regroup. Of course they were supportive and poured love into me, but it wasn’t enough. They told me it would fade, but I was so consumed in self-pity that I didn’t believe them. I hated the fact that this monstrous scar now defined me.
I spent hours each day staring at my new look, searching for any semblance of recognition, and hoping that it may disappear if I stared long enough. When I realized it wouldn’t go away, I got bored and stopped staring. I stopped obsessively photographing it and decided I was wasting my time. For I was stuck in a dark valley of shallowness and a victim of my own vanity — neither of which served me. I needed an escape.