Don’t Let Self-Injury Scars Define You

April 9, 2014 Jennifer Aline Graham

Self-Harm, Scars and Some Stars

It’s been a while since I read a life-changing book. I mean, a book that keeps your mind going throughout the day and your emotions on edge. I read The Fault in Our Stars , by John Green, in less than two days and even though I’m a writer, I’m not a quick reader.

The book is about two teenagers with cancer who meet at a cancer support group and, you guessed it, begin talking. It may sound cliché, but the story is one that must be read. Even though I am a cancer survivor, you don’t have to have the disease to be able to relate to the idea of pain.

It may be different than self-injury pain, but it is pain all the same.

Make Your Mark on the World - Not on Your Skin

Many have recovered from self-harm, but their self-injury scars remain behind. How do you keep those self-harm scars from defining you? Here’s how.

Throughout the book, one of the characters talks about how he wants to be seen as someone worth remembering after he dies. Death is a constant discussion throughout the book because the main characters are faced with it everyday.

When you’re faced with self-injury scars everyday, memories flood back from the moments those marks were created. You remember the thoughts that were racing in your mind before your skin was etched and the emotions following the self-harm behaviors. After five years without a cut, I still look at the few visible self-harm scars I have and feel flashbacks of emotions. These emotions are too often regret, sadness and misunderstanding.

Are those self-injury scars the marks you want to leave behind you after you’re gone?

Your Self-Harm Scars Don’t Define You

We want to be remembered as people who struggled with self-harm, but fought our way out of the hole we had fallen into. Like the characters in the book, they didn’t want to be seen as the disease they had. They wanted to be seen as the individuals they were.

The same goes for the battle against self-harm.

Leave a mark on the world that’s bigger, brighter and more memorable than the ones you’ve scarred into your skin. Give yourself the credit you deserve to move away from the negative marks and towards the ones that can change your life and the lives of others in positive ways.

Cancer is one hell of a disease and doesn’t give up without a deadly fight. Some win the battle and some don’t, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t fighting the whole way.

We want to win our battle with self-harm, no matter what it may be, or be remembered as someone who never stopped trying.

“That’s the thing about pain – it demands to be felt.” John Green sure knew what he was talking about when he wrote The Fault in Our Stars.

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APA Reference
Aline, J. (2014, April 9). Don’t Let Self-Injury Scars Define You, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Jennifer Aline Graham

August, 9 2014 at 8:49 am

My cuts are healed and my scars are
starting to fade away. I don't want to
Be remembered for my scars but I feel like
I need my scars as testimony of what I've overcome.
I want to make more marks and scars that
Will last. I see other peoples scars and
(As crazy as it may sound) I feel like my scars
Aren't good enough. It's been about a year
Since I last cut or burned. But I don't want my scars to go away.
Of course sometimes I'm embarrassed by the scars
When someone asks, but they also remind me what I've overcome.

Erin Schulthies
April, 9 2014 at 7:32 pm

I love this post and I love the parallel you drew between cancer and self-harm scars. The Fault in Our Scars is an amazing book. :)

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