Cobie Smulders is finally learning to embrace her battle scars after a frightening bout with ovarian cancer several years ago.
In an essay published Tuesday on Lenny, the How I Met Your Mother star opened up about an experience last year that contributed to healing some emotional wounds related to her 2008 cancer diagnosis -- posing topless for a 2015 issue of Women's Health magazine.
"It was a very strange day. I was standing in front of a camera lens in my underwear and holding my breasts, all while trying to appear not sexy but confident, not flirtatious but gleamingly positive," she wrote. "It all made me start thinking about this body that I’m in. And what it has been through."
Smulders also opened up about the devastation and anxiety she experienced after her diagnosis, as well as the life changes made in the midst of her cancer journey.
"I started meditating. I was constantly in a yoga studio. I went to energy healers who evaporated black smoke from my lower body… I went to a cleansing retreat in the desert where I didn’t eat for eight days and experienced hunger-driven hallucinations," she continued. "I read so many books (Crazy Sexy Cancer, by Kris Carr, was one of the best). I went to crystal healers. Kinesiologists. Acupuncturists. Naturopaths. Therapists. Hormone therapists. Chiropractors. Dietitians. Ayurvedic practitioners …"
"I really wish I could tell you what particular combination of these things, along with multiple surgeries, eventually gave me a clean bill of health," she added.
The 34-year-old actress also alluded to her recovery and two daughters. "Thankfully, gratefully, cancer did not get the best of me," she wrote. "The best of me now lives on in my two little women, baby girls I was lucky enough to be able to make with my own body."
The Avengers star added that she feels it's her duty to spread awareness about the disease, even if it means posing topless for a national magazine. "I don’t know if I will ever be free of my cancer — or, to be more specific, free from the fear of my cancer’s return," she stated. "I wish that we as women spent as much time on the well-being of our insides as we do with our looks on the outside. If you are going through something like this, I urge you to look at all your options. To ask questions. To learn as much as you can about your diagnosis. To breathe. To ask for help. To cry and to fight."
For more on Smulders' battle with ovarian cancer, watch the video below.