I am a SAFE alumni from years ago.  In this last year, I feel I finally conquered my 11 year struggle with anorexia, bulimia, compulsive exercise, and self-injury.  I am doing very well with my recovery.  I handle my relationships well.  I speak up and ask for what I need.  I take care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually.  I love myself finally and think I am a beautiful person inside and out.  Now that I am doing so well and it is almost short-sleeve season, I am struggling with accepting my scars.  I have horrible, very visible scars.  While I was in the middle of my battle with self-injury, I never considered the permanent scarring.  In fact, I was proud of my scars.  I thought they showed everyone just how horribly I hurt and how horrible I could be.  Now I feel my insides and my outsides don’t match.  People who know me tell me they don’t even see my scars.  I see them, though, and I am torn between shame and sadness.  I feel so sad for myself that I used to hurt so much.  I also can’t believe I did those things to myself.  I’m struggling with memories of when I hurt myself and it kind-of triggers me.  My therapist hopes I can see my scars and use that energy to feel proud of the person I have become.  I am a strong woman – this I know.  I just can’t get past this visual reminder of my past pain.  I am so sad.  I almost feel like I am waking up from a bad car accident and am just now really realizing what happened.