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Showing My Scars

girl reading bookDespite the negative comments that often appear here on my blog, I do get a lot of very personal and heartfelt emails from readers – so thank you for that. Often they thank me for sharing my story and giving them hope.

I try.

I am not sure if you knew this or not, but I wrote a memoir that will (hopefully) soon be self-published. I wasted a lot of time being told by agents that memoirs are hard to sell to publishers, especially when you aren’t famous. I’ve heard the psychology section is “saturated.” I’ve been turned down, rejected, quite a bit last year. But I am still standing.

I wanted to talk about being brave for a minute. Was it brave to write down my experience with mental illness? Yes, I guess so, but it was also necessary – for me to heal and for me to help others. Was it brave to participate in the theater production, “This is My Brave” and stand-up before hundreds of people and read from my memoir. Yeah. But yesterday I did something that felt very brave to me. I had my picture taken.

The concept for the cover of my book involves my hands. In the photograph you see me “Love” tattoo on my right wrist and a tangle of scars on my left. The thing is, I hate these scars created from years of cutting and suicidal thoughts. I hide them. This Christmas I received 5 large wide bracelets to cover my left wrist so I don’t have to worry about the cashier at the grocery store seeing it or the barista at Starbucks wondering what happened. I am embarrassed by my scars. I want to hide them.

To create a cover photo for my memoir where I “put it all out there” is beyond uncomfortable, it is brave. For me, it feels like being naked when my scars are exposed. So why do it? Because it is about authenticity. The book isn’t a glossed over version of my life, it gets raw. From the get-go, from the first thing you see – the cover, I want you to know I’ve struggled but that there is hope.


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Showing My Scars

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2015). Showing My Scars. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Jan 2015
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