to me, with love



The love for my body is ever changing, very much like my body should be - ever changing. (which is normal, which is okay).


My love for my body used to be non existence. For so many years I tortured my body, making it look like some thing it was not naturally meant to look like. I starved it out of hatred. I literally ran it into the ground (falling and fainting) while depriving it of water and other nourishment. I had a sponsor tell me when I was in treatment to try and appreciate my body instead of loving it. She told me to write down things like "i appreciate my arms because they let me carry things....". I told her no, I would not do this: I could not even appreciate my body.


In early recovery my love for my body came in like little waves on an beach: touching my toes while it drifted back and forth. I was being told to love my body, when my heart was still filled with hurt, with hate. I saw glimpses of love as a ate regularly and talked about my feelings and recovery in the outpatient setting. Little by little the waves of love grew bigger, stronger. I remember stepping back from a strong self harm urge and stopping because I heard a wave say "please do not hurt something you are learning to love."


Although these waves were bigger and stronger, I still struggled to love my body consistently. I thought I was failing at finding recovery because I was not jumping on the "body positive wagon." I tried really hard and felt like a fraud in recovery because I was not getting it. There was just something missing. Then I was reminded by my therapist to slow it down and go back to first things first. Words are my everything: I take each word very seriously and fight to find the right word for any situation. First things first: appreciate then love.


So I did that "silly, no way I'm doing that assignment" that my sponsor gave me way back when. #bodyappreciation And, let me tell you, this assignment was easy peasy, once I was ready for it. Of course I could appreciate my legs. They carry me through this world. I broke my femur in 2011, and during the very slow healing process I learned that every move we make is connected to our whole bodies. Also, never did I ever appreciate the ability to walk again after being legitimately and rightfully scared I might not be able to again. Now, a few years from that experience and five, maybe six broken bones since then i'm still amazed and appreciative of my body's ability to heal it's bones. I can also appreciate my body for the "little things" - everyday tasks, playing with Winston (my pup), watching my favorite tv shows and, well you know, live!


When I still was not ready to fully love my body, I found another word: neutrality, #bodyneutral. What does it mean to be body neutral? it's a movement to help us steer away from self-hate without the pressure of having to love our body. Instead, it's about working towards a place where we respect our bodies, and do not give too much energy to negative or positive thoughts about it. Body neutrality has it's foundation in what your body does and not how it looks.


Because claiming #bodypositive still made me feel like a fraud, I accepted the term "body neutrality". This means that i neither love or hated my body. This was where I humbled myself and said my body is no better or worst one way or the other. This is when I radically accepted that I might not have a body I love, and I have a body that works for me. This is where I accepted the things I could not change (my body), the courage to know the difference (my perspective) and the wisdom to know the difference. Being body neutral meant that I could accept that my body and me had a turmoil filled adventure with each other, and that it was time to change the direction of our sail.


today, today I am sailing in the right direction. Today, although some waves of discomfort and body negativity crash into our boat, my body and me are staying strong together. Our ocean is filled with loving water, ever so gentle wave that are there before, during and after the big waves crash into us.


Today we are a team. I am a warrior. And, my body is a fucking warrior too!




to my body,


I can write you an apology letter, but there's not enough words to express my sorrow in the English language. I would like to write you a love letter, because I now know that I do love you, Know that I appreciate and love everything you do and everything that you are for me. Know that I might now always express my love for you, and sometimes I will get into a negative mind, and these are moments and thoughts, not forever or facts. Even when I am negative, I still love you. I will never be anything worst than neutral with you and my love will always be constant. Thank you for taking care of me, everyday. Thank you for holding my organs and bones inside. Thank you for hugging me with our arms and allowing me the ability to hug others. Thank you for surviving everything you have survived for me. I love breaking down barriers and challenging norms with you. I cannot wait to see what adventure this life has for us next, what adventures we have in this life together. And, although our weight and our looks have nothing to do with these adventures, I am happy to have whatever comes along for the ride.

with love,

me


For those struggling,

For you who are struggling to find or establish a meaningful relationship with their bodies: Take what you can use and leave the rest. When you are ready, come back and pick up some that you left behind. When you are ready get off the shore and into the water. When you are ready get out of the water and onto your own sail boat. Whether you are on the shore, in the water or on a boat know you are right where you need to be. I'm on my boat, and beyond happy (plus be honored) to help you in where ever you want to go. Please do not hesitate to reach out, heythere@teekaatalks.org, @tee_kaa_talks.

with love,

tee




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