Yesterday was a very special day for me and I will tell you why.
As a young woman with body issues, PTSD, anxiety, depression and two chronic conditions (one present and one previous) I can find it very hard to feel myself in my own skin, so feeling confident in the body I have can be very traumatising for me on occasion. My operation scars can be noticed under my breasts, my ribs healed funny so they stick out in places, my sternum feels like a braille menu, my cellulite is clearly there, my stomach has as many rolls as a small bakery and I have hair in odd places. I am not who you might want to see underneath my clothes, I am not who I might want to see underneath my clothes either sometimes, but let’s change the perspective a little, please.
I used to self-harm, I used to starve myself, I used to hate my scars given to me and in turn the scars I gave myself. I used to wish death upon myself because I felt so unbelievably lost and so very much alone (despite being surrounded by phenomenal parents and very loving friends). My body has been through life-changing surgery, abuse, mental health issues and varying degrees of distress, yet here I am. Living, despite it all. Smiling, despite it all.
Yesterday I met Alex. She took my pictures. If you had told 14-year-old Lucy that after she was cut open and traumatised, then years later would pose in her underwear feeling confident, sexy and unafraid in front of a woman she just met, I would have put you in a straight jacket.
Yesterday we giggled and bonded over the odd but lovely little things you always do when you first meet people. Alex is truly a beautiful woman with a talent for creating art by gently moulding her clients into a magical sense of self. I have never felt so empowered, happy or so at ease with a woman I met just minutes before – thank you for allowing me the opportunity to find a little bit of myself again when I needed it most.
Thank you for making me feel like a friend, a woman and a badass bitch when I had started to feel like a zombie again. (I cannot wait to work with you again love.)
Today I remembered what I have overcome. Today I remembered that I am now the woman that I never thought I would be. I made it to 21 and I will make it further. I am no longer the girl who failed, who had open heart surgery, who has chronic migraines, who failed that year at uni – I am the girl who did everything she could despite all of those things. I am the woman who continued despite her setbacks.
I am more me than I have ever was, sometimes you just need someone else to help you see it.
I used to self-harm, but now I write blog posts instead and talk to my therapist. I used to starve myself, but now I have a healthier relationship with food. I used to hate my scars, but now I look at them and see the trauma that saved my life. I used to give myself scars, but now tattoos accentuate the areas they used to be. I used to wish death upon myself, but now I know that I am so very loved and acknowledge how lucky I am to be alive, to be healthy.
I used to be afraid of living, of loving or losing whatever I had in life. But, I am here to tell you 14-year-old Lucy, that life goes up and on, and it only gets better kid. Just wait and see.