Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Scars: What do they mean?


"Scars are tattoos with better stories" - Anonymous

By 
Chris Newcomb, M.Div. 

I have a few scars.  Most people do.  I have one on my middle finger.  No, I didn't get it from extending that finger in distaste to someone else.  Geez!  I'm a blog writer for goodness sake!

Fourteen years ago, I caught a rare form of pneumonia.  It was idiopathic in nature, that is, they couldn't figure out how I caught it.  To make a long story short, I had to have lung surgery to find out what was going on.  In the course of the procedure, I ended up with four scars on my left side.  No, if we ever meet in person, I will not show them to you!  

However, whenever I would swim in the summer, I always enjoyed making up great stories about how I was stabbed four times or got shot four times or had four leeches in my bathtub I never saw who caused the four scars.  Clearly, none of those things happened, but it was a lot of fun making up stories and watching people's reactions.  

Do you have scars?  Many people don't have physical scars but have emotional or mental scars.  These unseen markers of life experience can weigh heavy on the mind and the heart.  Often times, the pain is too much to bear and people turn to substance abuse to cope with their internal scars.  It is sad but so true.  

I love the quote above.  It's very true.  Most scars tell a good story.  Not that tattoos don't contain stories themselves.  However, scars are usually the result of something that happens to someone out of their control. While telling stories through tattoos is a conscious choice, receiving scars usually is not.  

What's your story?  What do your scars tell you about your life experience?  How can your scars inform your relationships with others?  Are there lessons from your scars you can share with others?  That is one of the greatest benefits of recovery within a group of people who are seeking recovery together.  Sharing your scars with another person in a safe environment can be liberating from shame for the person with the scar and relief for the person who has a scar but is afraid to admit they are just like everyone else.  

In this holiday season, I challenge you to share your scars with someone who would benefit from hearing about your life experience.  You would be amazed at the gift you would be giving them.  What they do with it is up to them.  But hopefully they might find a point of inspiration, wisdom, and/or connection when they learn about your scars.  In telling them your story, you give life and meaning to your scars.  They are important even though they are not of sole importance.  What will you do with the story your scars tell?

The Coleman Institute Richmond Office is open during the holiday season.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox, please call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-773-3869.  Help, Hope, and Healing begins here!  At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We help people gather the courage to start looking at their important scars so they can heal.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

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