Content Warning: self harm; body issues; eating disorders; pregnancy; child-birth
Dear Body, I’m sorry…
I never meant for it to get that bad. When I was little, you helped me ride my bike and walk up hills and mountains. I used my arms to cuddle Mum and Dad. I high-fived my friends. I instinctively licked my fingers so I could turn over the pages of my favourite book. I didn’t even think about you.
When I was a teenager, I tolerated you. I shaved the hair from my legs, armpits and anywhere else I thought I should. I cut you. I purposely sat and watched you bleed. I abused you. I allowed boys who didn’t matter touch you. I thought you were a tool. I poured alcohol into you and you hated it.
When I was in my Twenties, I hated you. You’d gotten soft and round and fleshy. Like a great big, fuzzy peach that no one wanted a bite of. I hid you under baggy, black clothes so no one could see you. I hated you. I starved you, deprived you of what you wanted. I showed you zero respect.
Then one day, you surprised me. You carried a child. Under those soft rolls, grew a new life. Little kicks and punches rippled inside me. I felt strong. I appreciated you again and tried to feed you good things. Some days, I fed you crap but you accepted it. Then the child you grew needed to come out and you failed me. You just couldn’t do it by yourself. The doctors had to use instruments and cut you to get the child out. The one thing I wanted you to do and you couldn’t do it.
I hated you again. The body that grew my sweet, small boy shriveled after childbirth. The skin on my tummy was soft but sagged. You couldn’t even feed the child you grew. I made you stay awake for three days for fear the child would die. I forced my swollen breasts into multiple bras to quell the milk flow. I starved you again and again.
I tried every diet there was. I tried to stop you craving things. I tried to trick you into wanting to eat at different times. I forced pills and shakes down you. I thought I would love you if you were smaller, softer, silkier. I was wrong.
There was never anything wrong with you. It was all me. Your chubby, hairy feet have carried me miles and helped me to run when I didn’t know that I could! Your dimpled, fleshy thighs have saved many a phone from disaster. Your roly-poly tummy grew a child and continues to give him a cozy place to cuddle. Your flappy, fat arms hold your boy when he’s sad or scared, or just wants you.
Your face is beautiful! All of you is beautiful! I hated you for a long time, but I didn’t see your worth. You don’t need to be thin to be anything in the world. You just need to be loved. And oh, how you are.
You’re my body and I love you. I just wish I’d loved you sooner.
Photo courtesy of Womanizer WOW Tech