The Letter Series: An Apology to My Body

Dear you,

2019 was a year that I watched you too closely, filtered through a lens of discontent and judgement. And it made the year a rough one.

2019 was the year I was violated in broad daylight, and in that moment you became my enemy. Bundled up in my winter coat, completely exposed.

2019 was the year I started a new job that went toxic quickly, and those late hours turned very quickly into late-night meals fueled by what was close and cheap. And stress-eating had a whole new meaning on Sundays as I grew more and more anxious about the 9 a.m start the next day.

2019 was the year I forced a lot of blame on you, with no intention of softening the impact.

We don’t often pay attention to how much our mental health can affect our physical health. We know that it does, but without acknowledging how it personally affects you, can you make a change?

I felt heavy. Defeated, not like myself. And then my sleep suffered, you suffered. It became a vicious cycle.

And in that guilt I wrestled with the guilt and shame and frustration, all while burying resolutions within reach.

I remember stepping on the scale and seeing that there had been no change to that number staring back at me and realizing that it was the feeling of being heavy that I didn’t like. It was that the scale didn’t matter, I was the same as before, but all of me felt weighted down.

That was a small moment of affirmation: the scale doesn’t matter as much as society likes to think it does. Likes to claim it does. But that heavy feeling? Only I could make that change. For you, for us.

I had this feeling that I couldn’t shake – that I wanted to be smaller. I wanted to take up less space. I wanted you to fold into what others declare as acceptable because maybe then we would get along always, instead of in waves.

2019 was the year I doubted you, and everything you are capable of, and for that I am sorry.

I need you to know that I did not set out to make a change, for better or for worse, and for that I am sorry.

When you need to rest, I try to listen. I can see when my eyes look distant and when my skin becomes dull that you are trying to tell me to slow down. To breathe. When you need to feel, I try to listen. I have noticed that it can do me more harm than good if I stop instead of pause.

I have realized that you are stronger than I give you credit for.

That you are capable of lifting, moving, changing.

I no longer look at the jiggly bits as I move and think of what it would be like if everything was smaller, thinner. What it would be like for you to fit, be more compact, shrink.

I see movement and am grateful that you are pushing, growing, trying.

I see change and I want you to be more solid, firm. Not because I want to change the shape of you, but because I want you to feel as stable as we can be.

I still have the same fears, I still have moments of doubt, but I am starting to believe that doubt will echo in silence if I trust what you are trying to do.

2019 was a rough one, but it wasn’t a loss.

See this was the year that  I have begun to do more than appreciate you, but respect you.

Sincerely,

Me. 

 

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