I went through an ectopic pregnancy a little over two months ago. I ended up having emergency surgery to remove the pregnancy and one of my fallopian tubes. The physical recovery was uncomplicated and quick, the emotional recovery a little longer. Generally, I’m doing just fine. Truth be told, I do try to avoid spending much time thinking about my loss too much. But I am now at a place where I mostly don’t feel that anything out of the ordinary happened to me. I even catch myself forgetting my ordeal from time to time. That is, until I look in a mirror.
I have four little scars from the surgery, four small reminders of the loss of the pregnancy that I wanted so badly. They will likely lighten over time, but just like the scars on my knees from wiping out on my bicycle as a child, they will stay with me and tell part of my life’s story.
But this post isn’t actually about me or my ordeal. My scars are tangible, a physical manifestation of pain and loss. My scars make it a little easier for others to relate to what happened, or at the very least sympathize.
Many people experiencing pain, loss, grief, or many other types of poor or lowered mental health have no scars to show, no outward signs to the world of what they are trying to deal with. Their struggles, ordeals, challenges are just as real as mine, but we (myself included, at times) find it easier to overlook this aspect of life because someone “looks fine”. Their stories are not written on their bodies.
For others, the marks they bear do not tell their stories at all.
I don’t speak for these individuals, but I am working to be more understanding, less assuming.