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Old 07-10-2018, 08:08 PM   #1
Grand Poohbah
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Location: La Porte, TX
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Having a past with eating disorders, I've never had a great self-image to begin with. When I was in college, I cut some, and there are some fine scar lines from that, but I'm luckily, unless you are looking for them, you don't notice them (SO grateful for that especially as I have a 10-year old daughter now who doesn't give me much privacy). I have a scar from a scratch on my leg I got from a cat when I was 4 or 5 and honestly, that is much more noticeable than the self-harm scars. Because of the eating disorder, I've had to come around to the idea that no matter what I weigh, I probably will never be happy with it and feel that it is too much.

This February, I had to have emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer. It was a very traumatic surgery. It left a 4 inch plus scar from my belly button up. I can still see the dots where all the staples poked in too. I really, really hate this latest addition to my body especially since I was in very good shape beforehand, abs getting all nice and toned. Not 20 any more, but not bad for a 40 year old mother. I know this scar is still healing, but OMG, is it ever taking its time! I don't know how I'll ever accept it. Before the ulcer happened, I was so happy because of the running I was doing, I was well on my way to being able to rock a bikini by summer.

Now, I've got this giant eyesore on my stomach. My 10 year old daughter (who is squeamish and hates medical stuff) still tries not to look at it if she's around me and my shirt is off.

Worse, the surgery made me lose a lot of weight, and that made old eating disorder voices happy and having me thinking I should lose more weight even though logically, I know I should not. I weigh 102 lb. now, and that is really too little, even if my bone structure is small. Even worse, I have an M.S. degree in Cell & Molecular Biology and an undergraduate degree in microbiology, so I know quite a bit about how the body works, the calories we need, what happens when we start burning muscle (like our heart). Obviously, none of it is good for you.

It felt like I was finally maybe coming to some sort of peace with my body after over 20 years, and now I'm back at ground zero, worse than that now because of this stupid scar. That scar is there for life. They had to cut deep; it's not going anywhere. My sister told me to view it as a battle wound and a reminder that I'm stronger than I think (because honestly, if I had known of the coming pain of this surgery & its recovery, I think I would have done something regrettable to be able to never have had to go through the pain of that horrific experience). Family occasionally get on me about my weight, but when they can compare images of me at 80 lb. to 102 lb., 102 does not look so bad.

I don't know if I ever will be able to accept my body. I guess if I ever work with a T again (I've always had problems clicking with therapists), it would be something to work on. How do those of you with scars accept it and move on?
Bipolar 1, PTSD, anorexia/EDNOS, Panic Disorder, ADHD

Bupropion 150 XR, Seroquel 400 mg, Lamictal 400 mg, Clonazepam 1 mg 4/day, Clonidine 0.3 mg, Propanolol 10 mg 3/day, Buspar 30 mg 2/day, Adderall 20 mg, Protonix 20 mg (post-ulcer med), Gabapentin 100 mg 3/day (fibro), Tizandine 4 mg 4/day (fibro)

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
--Robert Frost
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:01 PM   #2
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Well... fortunately, I guess, I'm a guy. So I suppose it's different for me. I have scars from 3 previous surgeries. Two of them are strategically placed so that I have joked in the past, if I could just get two more in the right spot, I'd be able to play tic tac toe on my belly!

One of my scars (the really noticeable one) runs from my navel down to you-know-where. Following that surgery, the surgeon taped me back together (just like a paper doll!) It held together... but not that well. So it's sort-of like one lane of a highway running down there. (Sometimes it can even be a bit sensitive. But not enough to make me want to try to have anything done about it.)

I guess the good thing at this point is that, although I've had these scars for quite a few years now (one since I was a teenager), I really just don't think much about them anymore. And since I'm old at this point, it really just no longer matters. I have other things that are of greater concern. But, anyway, that's my scar story.

If I was having trouble accepting my scars, though, I know the technique I would employ in order to deal with it would be the practice of compassionate abiding because it is my go-to practice for working with all manner of anxiety, difficult memories & emotions, & intrusive thoughts. Perhaps you're familiar with it? Just in case you're not, though, here's a link to a mental-health-oriented description of the practice:

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