Dear Body

I want to share with you a post from an absolutely amazing website
called ‘To Write Love on Her Arms’. To Write Love on Her arms (TWLOHA)
is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding
help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and
suicide. Music plays a huge part in raising awareness about TWLOHA and
vital money is raised through concerts. The below post was written by
a user of TWLOHA to mark Eating Disorder Awareness week. It does refer
to self-harm and eating disorders- so if you feel this may be
triggering to you at this time, perhaps you should wait until you feel
safer to read it. ( If you do self-harm and are thinking about telling
someone, follow this link to our youtube page to watch a video on
visiting your G.P about self-harm) Dear Body, I’ve always let some
imperfection or another stand in the way of me seeing what you truly
are, that you are beautiful. You are a divine creation housing the
most valuable thing known to the universe, my soul. I’m beginning to
realize that a person’s soul has the capacity to radiate light that
transcends all the characteristics that I have been conditioned to
believe are flaws. You naturally tell a story. Your blue-green veins
are like a map to where your heart has been and where it is going. The
curve of your waist and the shape of your cheekbones tell a tale of
heritage and ethnicity. There are crayon markings on the wall
somewhere that has measured your height throughout the years. Always
returning to the same spot to see how you’ve changed. Your eyes bare
resemblance to nature. They are a deep forest green with golden yellow
sunflower flecks. Your faded birthmark, once beet red, brought me
shame because all I wanted was to conform. It now reminds me of how
unique you are and all I want is to be different. Your body begins as
a story but continues with new chapters throughout your life. Some are
chapters of sadness and pain, others of joy, and all of growth. Each
chapter a blank canvas meant to be painted by our experiences. Photos
are memories but so are our bodies in a way that’s more real, no
posing and no fakeness.
I’m realizing these things now, but I’m so sorry that I didn’t realize
them before. I’ve done everything I could to destroy the canvas and
deface and burn the pages of different chapters. I’ve waged war on you
before; used razor blades to feel and drugs to numb. I’ve used
caffeine to stay awake and alcohol to sleep. Abusing the side effects
of my prescription drugs like loss of appetite, to deliberately starve
myself into making you skinnier. I’ve spent far too much time on a
scale that merely weighs your effect on gravity, not the depth of your
beauty. I wanted you to look like one of those girls in the magazines.
But in the ruins there is still a canvas. There is still beauty in
your brokenness. The faded scars show healing reminding me that even
though I’ve been in dark places, I’ve survived and learned and become
stronger. Although the war is over, the world still takes its toll.
You have calluses on your hands from me writing too much and
concentrating too hard. Yet the words are beautiful and the studying
is worth it. You have the ache when it rains from broken bones, and
stretch marks from growing too fast. You have burns from jobs and
scars from falls. But those experiences were worth it. Dear body, as
I grow older I worry about how you will age. Together we gain wisdom
and wrinkles, after being young and beautiful and naïve. The wisdom
tells us that the beauty doesn’t subside, it only changes, and more of
it comes from within. So I won’t worry when my hair doesn’t look just
right, or when I do something stupidly funny and emerge with another
scar because you are telling a story. And what would I be without my
story and my past? If you have been affected by what you
have read please check out the mental health directory for information
on support. If you want to talk to someone now call Samaritans PHONE:
1850 609090 (Northern Ireland PHONE: 08457 909090) Email:
jo@samaritans.org Web: www.samaritans.org For information on eating
disorders check out www.bodywhys.ie and www.pietahouse.ie for
information on self harm.

 

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