Each body is different.
Each body is a map of where the owner has been. Routes taken. Shortcuts gone wrong.
Each body is a book. Chapter after chapter of tales of life.

My body is no different.
My body tells a story.
Of highs and lows.
Of ups and downs.
Of good and bad.
Of pleasure and pain.
Of life. In all its real, awful, hideous, beautiful forms.

Each inch a different chapter, marked and scarred and freckled with life.

A chapter of pain.
The gap in my eyebrow from a childhood slip off the sofa.
Thin scars on arms and thighs. An attempt to hide pain with pain. Hidden beneath ink. Faded from long years passed. Unassuming. Yet still unmissable in the right light. Embarrassing yet accepted now.
The cigarette burns from more a recent weakness.
Knees scarred like a school boy; from drunken piggy-backs gone wrong, from run-ins with tables, from trips up stairs, from learning the hard way not to skateboard in heels. Each mark, in varying shades of pink, bringing memories. Bittersweet and painful. Just not physically anymore.
The circle on my left arm, the one scar we all share in varying sizes. A scar of protection.
The deep white cut, hidden by underwear from the tick that was far too forward on a picnic. The secret scar. Seen by many. Noticed by few.


A chapter of change.
Thin, silver lines across thighs, breasts, and stomach. Markers from puberty, from pregnancy, from weight gain. Supposed signs of womanhood and strength, instead bringing misery and shame.
Skin thinned from being stretched beyond recognition, no longer hugging my body the way it should. Instead sitting separately, not obviously so, but enough to look wrong. The cause of insecurities.
All these changes to a body I never loved in the first place, now causing nostalgia for the body I lived in before.
A shape I don’t recognise as my own. A shape I don’t love.
Ever changing. Varying alongside emotions. Happiness is fat. Depression is skinny.
Depression shouldn’t be perfection. Yet somehow it is.

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A chapter ever changing.
Freckles on nose and shoulders, appearing and fading season to season.
The shape of a bikini marked on to my body, a reminder of my Irish skin. A reminder that my skin is more sensitive than most. A reminder that my body is unfortunately a mirror of my brain. A reminder of a perfect day on the beach.
Broken veins shaping constellations, red and purple ripples beneath the white of my skin.
The colour of my hair, not needing the help of peroxide right now. The sun has me covered. Yet already beginning to fade after a week of cloud.

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A chapter of choice.
Ink across my thigh, across my ribs, across my feet, across my index finger. Ink that I chose; some after months of deliberation, others after a shot of strong spiced rum. Ink that I love. Ink that represents different times in my life. Ink that represents strength, rebirth. Ink that joined people together one weekend, people who are now completely, forever pulled apart.
Jewellery that feels as much of a part of my body as the parts I can’t remove. Gold through my ears and through my nose. A thin and barely there hoop for the nose, unnecessarily big and gaudy for the ears.
The delicate gems around my neck. Gifts to myself at times when I needed them most. The two rings I can no longer fit off my finger. The gold knot I bought myself and the silver cat ears a gift of new friendship.
Decorations I love more than the body beneath them. An attempt to trick myself into liking it.

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My body has done more than I ever believed possible. It has created life, it has withstood pain and abuse and poison, it has repaired itself and healed itself. It has changed more drastically than should be possible within such a short space of time. Pounds and stones lost in weeks of self torture. Gained again in months of joy and smiles and pasta. I have been lucky, my body has never let me down. My body has seen me right, not everybody can say that.

My body is impressive and strong and the only vehicle I will ever have for this life.
My body is there for me, in spite of the abuse I subject it to. Physically and emotionally.
My body stays standing, stays strong and whole in spite of the hatred I show it.
My body is mine, and tells a story that is mine.
A story that is still progressing. A body that is still changing.