take your time.
you are coming
— Nayyirah Waheed
My story is not an interesting one: I was fourteen years old the first time that I cut myself. Like many people who self-harm, it wasn’t long before I grew to rely on the act, and it quickly spun out of control as a result. Today, at twenty years old, it has been approximately two years since I last hurt myself and I’ve since learned to cope in different ways, and like many people who self-harm I now have to live with the permanent reminders of what I’ve done. I’m not sure when exactly the idea struck to adorn my scars with ink, but the thought hooked its arm around me and refused to let go, and in March 2017 finally led me to the parlor where I got a lantern and roses permanently inscribed on my upper right arm. And even now, with only one tattoo down and my toes barely wet in the water, I already feel more at home with myself than I ever have. As though a little piece of my body has been given back to me.
I created this blog for the purpose of documenting my journey towards reclaiming my body, with the hope that publicizing my experiences might offer guidance to someone in similar shoes, but I’d like to do more than just that. For years, I’ve hidden beneath long sleeves and pants regardless of the weather — out of fear, out of shame — and I finally feel ready to do differently. And as I make changes in my daily life and in my relationships, I’d like to write about this much underrepresented stage of recovery: Accepting my scars, and not allowing them to continue to hold me back from living my life. Choosing to live vulnerably and wholeheartedly, not just in spite of them but because of them…and what that means moving forward.
While this blog is primarily aimed at those who have recovered or who are otherwise in recovery, it doesn’t escape my notice that some people find photographs of self-harm scars to be very triggering. So while I’ll do my best to use discretion when posting progress shots, I’d also advise anyone sensitive to this kind of material to use caution when combing through my blog. Please put your mental health and well-being first.
All that said: Hello. My name is Micayla.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.