Spring season rolls around and every woman starts thinking about their bikini body for the summer. If not, they will be reminded by every fitness and fashion magazine that has a cover title along the lines of "how to get bikini bod in 30 days". This one is very familiar to all of us, even men. New Year resolutions, gym membership, personal trainers and countless diets, everything accessible to us to get that bod that we've always wanted. All you need is a strong will and discipline.

But what do you do when you have worked hard to stay fit, live a healthy style in general but you can't show it off nor enjoy your time at the pool/beach because of your body "imperfections" that can't be removed by dieting or working out? My entire life I spent hiding my scars so I wouldn't draw attention to myself or be pointed at like I use to when I was younger. I am not saying that's what would have happened now, but that's the fear I lived with. Like any young woman I wanted to be noticed by my nice features not scars. My way of "getting ready for bikini season" included shopping for cover ups. And settling for a boyish look - bikini top and boy trunks. Like in this picture below. I'm over that look in every way, Haha!

What about when you're at the pool party with your girlfriends and they all look super cute in most adorable swimsuits and you're the only one walking around in a Hawaiian cover up. Haha seriously. No more! Unless you're visiting Hawaii and holding a Mai Tai: 

Or when you're feeling adventures and you'd love to just spontaneously join others and dive off of cliff but you can't because of your fear that others might see your scars. I was only inclined to go into  water on a private beach. Like here at Dead Sea:

Ever since puberty this was the ongoing battle with myself, until recently, June 9th, 2017. There really isn't a special way of overcoming this, other than facing it head on with all you've got. I have convinced myself that I will regret it if I don't try. I have also forced myself to realization that my body is my body, I don't get a new one later so I better take care, appreciate and be proud of the one I have

So I looked myself in the mirror and said you can do this. You've accomplished much tougher tasks at hand, you got this. I walked out of hotel covered and arrived at the pool all worried and embarrassed; feeling as if everyone has their eyes on me already. If only I was comfortable with that kind of attention, maybe it would be easier. My eyes immediately wondered for secluded areas but NO, I need to do the opposite, voice in my head shouted. I looked over on the opposite side from where I was standing and saw group of beautiful, with perfect bodies, women sunbathing and having a good time. Yes! I need to go there. I walked over there said hello and asked if the chair next to them was taken. They said no so I laid my towel and started sliding my bottoms off. Scared and embarrassed on the inside, pretended like I didn't care on the outside. I noticed pretty women got quiet for a sec and looked my way. I closed my eyes and started laughing (nervous laugh) in my head to distract my mind.  Shortly one of them interrupted me with "Excuse me, I don't mean to be rude but is it ok if I ask you how did you get your scars?". Sigh of relief. I loved that she asked. I did not mind sharing. And it turns out she had a family member with burns, and she was familiar with the struggle. We ended up having a very nice conversation. They acknowledged my courage in being there and not hiding. If it wasn't for my scars who knows if they would even notice me at all. ;) 

I am not going to be afraid of being noticed even if it's the scars that draw attention to myself.  Hey, if I saw it... I'd look too. 

Sometimes we think we are alone and others won't understand us; don't isolate yourself, you never know who you can meet that will prove you otherwise. Yes we are burn survivors, but our struggle impacts our family members and others that love us more than we think. Fight for them and yourself. 

Yours Truly, 

Burn Survivor