Dear Body

Trigger warning: This post contains an extensive discussion of self-harm and anorexia.

Dear Body,

I’m sorry. I’m not really sure what else to say, what else I should say. I suppose that’s all I can say, at the end of the day. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I’ve scrutinised you in the mirror for all these years. You’ve been doing the best you can under the circumstances, and I’ve held you to the same impossible standard as I hold everything else about me to. You don’t have to look like anyone else to be beautiful, to be perfect. I wish I’d learn that no matter how many times I shave, I’ll never be able to smooth out the bumps my cruel nails raised on my skin, and that’s okay. You’re beautiful anyways. You don’t have to be smaller around the tummy, have less acne, more toned arms, more volume in your hair. Everyone has different shapes and sizes, and the one you come in is just perfect.

I’m sorry I’ve tried to shrink you. You are amazing, and you deserve the space you take up in this world. You don’t have to disappear to be worthy, like I’ve been begging you to. You don’t have to shrink and tuck and dissolve to be worthy of love. Taking up space is not a crime. You don’t have to be able to float away on the hot breeze to be pretty. I should never have tried to take away the food you need almost to the point of collapse to make you smaller. I never should have starved you under the banner of self-control, self-improvement, self-love even. Take up all the space you need. You deserve it.

I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. I’ve spent so many years in the mirror, picking at any spot on my face that I deemed unworthy. I’ve spent so many years doing the same with my legs until they are now red with the scars of my inadequacies. It was wrong of me to make you suffer for my addiction to exercise. I should have never punched you until you bruised or scratched you red, you didn’t deserve my uncontrollable hatred. You didn’t deserve to be rubbed raw with a kitchen brush in the shower because I hated you. I should never have chewed the inside of my cheeks ragged because you weren’t good enough for me. You’ve done nothing but heal yourself, despite the injuries I’ve hurled at you.

You’ve protected me. You’ve given me a safe place to grow up in. You’ve given me the ability to do amazing things. You’ve always fought for me. You were there for me when no one else was. You’ve loved me, even when I didn’t love you back. It’s not fair of me to funnel all my hatred towards you, and I’m so sorry that I tried to burn you to the ground.

This isn’t me saying we can be friends now. I’d be lying if I said that. I’m going to hurt you again tomorrow, and the day after that. Please forgive me. I can’t help myself right now. This is, however, me saying that one day we will hopefully be friends. This is me saying I’m sorry. This is me saying that what I’ve done is wrong. This is me saying one day, maybe, I can love you.
Best wishes,
Neverland

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5 thoughts on “Dear Body

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  1. I feel like I should probably write a letter like this to my body. I was watching a bulimia survivor’s youtube channel, and she said something that really struck with me: “You would have to hate a person a lot to try to starve them to death.” And it was only then that I realized I wasn’t restricting and obsessing over exercise for the sake of improvement–I was doing it because I hated myself and wanted myself to go away. Thank you for sharing this. It’s so hard to come to the understanding that you hate yourself. It’s hard to feel trapped, to stare into the mirror every day, wanting to love yourself, and finding only reasons to hate. I’m so proud of you for continuing to fight anyway, because that takes an unfathomable amount of bravery.

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    1. Thank you, Ossuary. Yes, that’s exactly it. I couldn’t imagine trying to starve someone else but I can’t imagine not doing it to myself, something I’m positive you understand. And I’m proud of you too, because you’ve been through so much and yet you are still here, still fighting.

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