I think it’s helpful to know what things seem supportive but can actually be hurtful. I think it’s also helpful for people who have never experienced this loss to know that silence is painful, too. Sometimes when people don’t know what to say, they opt for nothing, pretending that everything is just as it was before, negating their life, and in that way, negating them.
The really screwed up thing is, there was never a point at which what I saw in the mirror would have been my real reflection. There was no point at which I would have been satisfied with my stomach because there was never a point at which I could see myself as anything but flawed.
Yesterday I held my pee so long that when I finally stood up from my chair I totally wet my pants. Not like ALL the way wet, but any pee in your pants is really enough pee in your pants.
I also forgot to drink water until 1:30. I took my meds two hours late. I sat at my desk so long that my shoulders are now in my ears. Possibly permanently.
Food is social and delicious, and many of our traditions and celebrations are around food. But food is really mostly fuel. It's the gas that keeps your body doingall the body things that need to be done everyday, like walking and breathing. And if you eat food that is shitty fuel, you’ll feel shitty.
Can I call myself part of the movement I live in the center of, if I don’t love all of my body, all of the time?
Where am I left if I love my body but still want to change it? Where am I left, if, at the intersection of self-love and vanity, I choose vanity?
Do I lose my credibility?
And if I don’t want to change my body, but you want to change yours? Is my self-love more real than your self-love — the self-love infused with breast augmentation?
Can I claim superiority?
Can self-love and vanity co-exist?
I was lucky to have a group of care professionals who were fighting for me to have a natural birth, but I sobbed anyway. I was lucky to have a midwife who could have whisked me off to the OR, but instead, sat at the side of my bed for seven MORE hours to help my stubborn, egg-headed son to get his act together — but I sobbed anyway.
I was lucky that my body responded to the small amount of pitocin I needed to convince my uterus that it was supposed to be getting a baby out. I sobbed anyway.
I was lucky I didn’t have a c-section. I was lucky he was born, healthy and huge at 10+ pounds, from just two hefty pushes.
I was lucky.
I sobbed anyway.
This was not what I had planned.
I’m the oldest daughter of an addict who is still figuring out what functioning looks like. I realize that having 17 aqua vintage vases looks, and maybe even is, dysfunctional.
But I like my things. I put them on the shelf and there they are: Vases in a row. China stacked in the cupboard. Shelf after shelf of books, organized by genre. Sixty-year-old mixing bowls on my counter.
I’ll never use them, it doesn’t matter. I want them there.
6. We are perfectionists. We are terribly critical of ourselves — of every detail. Because of this internal dialogue of self-loathing, we are often sensitive to criticism from others. This is deeply-seated fear of rejection. Please pause, if you are able, and choose your words with compassion. We may have lacked for love. We need it.
This body, even if it were thin, could not replace the warm embrace of a partner who loves me; the breathy, sweaty hugs of my children; the rich soil of my garden; the slice of freshly-frosted birthday cake.