“Oh, my darling, it’s true, beautiful things have dents and scratches too” I read this over and over until I could appreciate what this meant for me.
I often talk about Cystic Fibrosis being an invisible disability.
On the outside, I do not look sick, but little do many know the battlefield that goes on inside my lungs. Like many with Cystic Fibrosis, it affects us all differently.
Yet we all have the common factor that we have Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening lung disease. Our daily treatment regimens can differ, infections affect us differently and for majority of us, it is hard for people to understand the severity of CF because we don’t look sick.
For me, CF is far from an invisible disability. Growing up as a child I endured multiple surgeries. My body was “bruised and battered” so to speak. From multiple surgical incisions across for various reasons, I remember growing up, there was a period of time I often had large medical tape (gauze) stuck to my stomach whilst my body healed.
For years I had a gastrostomy button in my belly, as I struggled to gain weight, the gastrostomy button was inserted to allow me to be tube fed throughout the night.
I would have litres of high calorie milk in order to help me gain weight, a trip down memory lane I choose not to go down often.
My body reminds me daily of this time was for me as I am left with multiple scars from the procedures I underwent.
At times, I remember feeling like a pin cushion as I was prodded and poked.
I struggle to put into words how this made me feel, especially as I got older.
For girls especially, unfortunately our body image is something too many of us often struggle with yet wouldn’t admit it. I for one am guilty of this. We often find ourselves comparing how we look to other girls, wishing we had something different.
No matter how many times you may be told you are beautiful, you won’t believe this until you find you are comfortable with the skin you are in.
But how do you get comfortable? How does that even work?
I wanted to be a role model to young girls, especially those with CF. I want them to have someone to look up to who was “just like them” And being a Mum to a young girl, she needs to know how beautiful she is and that comes from within.
The outside will radiate as her inner glow shines.
In the past year, I have been fortunate to come across many beautiful CF girls who like me, have battle scars. Through speaking to them and seeing photographs, I see so much more than the scars. And I want nothing more than for them to not even blink an eye when it comes to their scars. I would like to encourage girls to be comfortable with how they look. I recently stopped and took a long hard look at myself in the mirror.
I made the decision; it is time to step outside my comfort zone and be brave.
My scars, I can’t change them. They will forever be a part of me.
I’ll admit, this is only new for me, but finally, I am starting to accept them.
It has only taken over a decade. With scars come memories of trauma. (Memories of a time I wish never happened) That is what the scar represents.
But the scar doesn’t make me ugly as a person does it?
I reluctantly post this photo, because for me this makes me feel vulnerable.
But I also feel empowered to say CF I won this round. I see more than just the scar’s now, and I hope that you do too.
For it is our imperfections that make us unique. For every scar, there is a story.
It’s time to beunapologetically you and see yourself for the beautiful person that you are!
After all, you should know you're beautiful just the way you are!!!