Stretch marks

Warning: this post is real and raw, as is the photo included. It is exactly what I see and feel everyday.

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I noticed my first stretch marks a few months after discharge from Forest View PHP. I was appalled and I remember crying for well over an hour. It sent me into a small spiral of restriction. Back then I felt like many other women: stretch marks and any scars or other “imperfections” are seen as disgusting and unwanted. That is why I couldn’t handle looking at my thighs for a long time. I closed my eyes anytime I was getting dressed. The only time I wore a swimsuit was with shorts on.

As time went on and I stayed a stable weight, thanks to mild restriction, my marks faded.I could barely see them which meant others couldn’t either. My body image improved in the slightest. Honestly I just forgot I even had stretch marks for around a year since I had so many other ED thoughts/body image issues/behaviors/etc to deal with.

Coming back form residential I couldn’t hide from it anymore. I gained more stretch marks than ever before and I’m not using my eating disorder to distract me. There are the old, white and subdued, and new, angry red and impossible to ignore. This is what I see every single time I look down at my thighs. Its my choice how I let if affect me.

I won’t lie, this has been HELL to get through. I have broken down and doubted my recovery over some imperfections in my skin. How incredibly sad is that?

My view of the stretch marks is slowly changing. I didn’t gain them for nothing. They are a package deal with my recovery, and I want that more than anything. My body has grown bigger and stretched in ways it hasn’t in years. I neglected and starved it and upon receiving nourishment it became healthy again. There is no way at all I could be so committed to recovery and life if my body wasn’t changed to the way it is now.

I have earned these stretch marks. All of the ensures I’ve downed, tears I’ve cried, emotions I’ve dealt with, thoughts I’ve overcome, and every ounce of strength has resulted in them. I am proud of the work it took to come here. My body is not perfect by today’s standards but it is healthy. It deserves my love.

My stretch marks will probably never go away on their own. I fully believe I can get to a point where I won’t want them to. They signify my struggle and resiliency. My entire recovery is represented in those lines. Its time to own it.

I may not be able to say I love these marks yet, but one day I will.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Stretch marks

  1. I’m dealing with some of the same stuff at the moment re:body image issues, it can be so hard but you are right to be compassionate with yourself- they are just a part of you- and you are wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes imperfections and scars can remind us not only of where we’ve been, but where we’re going. To a healthy contented future.

    I had something of a body issue myself. I was consumed with the desire to looked as muscled as possible, to the extent that I took crazy doses of steroids. Eventually, that lifestyle caught up with me and I got cancer in my testicles – from the hormones, etc. The treatment was pretty aggressive – both testicles were removed. After radiation and a year of living without testosterone my body looked a shadow of its former self. I cried, too.

    I’m on testosterone replacement therapy now, but I still have the scars – from the surgery itself and from the absence of my testes. I guess I look at my “empty sack” like you look at your stretchmarks. Sometimes it’s just a reminder that I no longer have balls and that it’s pretty much my fault I lost them. However, I’m beginning to see that recovery required figurative “balls” and that I have those, despite and in spite of my past steroid abuse and facing a future of being ball-less.

    I hope you do own and love your stretchmarks as you described.

    Peace

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t entirely imagine how hard that must have been forr you, but I do understand the body image part for sure. Your story is inspiring. You are more than the part of your body thats “missing.” I hope you also can live with confidence and view your lack of testes as a sign of all you’ve gone through and grown through.

      Like

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