Coping | IBD | Ostomy
Do you have scars? Have you struggled with your body image after surgery? Read about what Kat did to boost her confidence after her surgeries and how she came to terms with her scars!
One of the things I was looking forward to when I had my stoma closed up was having a hot body again. I’ll admit I was always a bit vain about it before the stoma and liked to show it off and I was looking forward to doing that again. So I was surprised and disappointed after the take-down about how I felt about my scars, which cover most of my tummy, one of my best features before surgery. I couldn’t get over how ugly I found them. I’d never really looked at them before as the stoma bag was always the big thing, and now I found that I couldn’t really see myself in the mirror – all I could see was scars and I felt ugly.
I resolved to do something to make myself feel better. At first I started off by staring at myself in the mirror naked twice a day and trying to appreciate the rest of my body. Then I got a friend to take some pictures of me in my lingerie, to remind me that I can still look sexy. It helped a bit – I started to appreciate that the rest of me still looked good at least.
My big step was to post one of my lingerie pictures on reddit.com. I thought that guys would tell me the rest of me still looked hot and the scars weren’t that bad. So I was hoping to get an esteem booster and go from feeling negative about my scars to feeling neutral about them instead. But I couldn’t have anticipated the incredibly positive reaction from the reddit users – yes, they still found my body attractive. But what they found even more attractive was the courage I’d shown in getting through my illness and surgeries, and then in posting a picture of myself afterwards. They found the scars attractive – not physically, but because of what they say about me.
The impact on my self-image has been amazing. I’ve gone from feeling negative about my scars to feeling really proud of them. I look at myself in the mirror and I can see my strength and courage reflected back at me, not a blemish. And I see an attractive woman again, too.