My life began today; not eight years ago when I met my ex-fiancé, not four years ago when we got engaged, not two years ago when we moved in together, and not one week or so ago when he told me he no longer loves me.
It started today with a head cold, swollen knuckles, a black eye, a raging hangover, and the sudden understanding that I need to repair the relationship I have with my own body.
As humans, yes, but primarily as women we have are told we need to simultaneously love and hate our own bodies; they should be pretty, but not fake, they should be slim, but not skinny, they should be strong, but not muscular. And they should not have stretch marks; this is the bane of my life. I carry extra weight (no surprise, I hear fellow writers cry!), but not a huge amount. I’m chunky, chubby, cuddly, and my sensitive, scar prone bears the brunt of that weight, gained through depression, a sedentary lifestyle, and a slant towards academia that borders on unbelievable.
I have other scars, too, big operation looking scars and small, faint ghostly ones gained from accidental injury and wilful self-harm; I am not an easy person to love, I think.
I thought all of this in the shower, and I waited for the grief, and the sadness, and the crippling self-loathing, but… here’s the skinny (or chubby, in my case) I don’t hate my body. I love it, I respect it, and I cherish it because I know what I have put it through over the last ten to twelve years of my life. My relationship with my body is dysfunctional, more or a platonic love than a romance, and it is rocky, but for the first time in years it is positive. I want to care for it, I want to polish it, and for the first time in a long time I want to fall in love with it again.
I want to fall in love again, but there’s always that nagging fear; vulnerability and honesty go hand in hand, and while we demand the latter, we very often judge the former. So here I am; vulnerable and honest, live and in stereo (so to speak), living with the decision to spread my life all over this blog in the hopes it helps someone like me in the not so near, or even very distant future in some corner of the world.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I have a hangover to cure and a preliminary Dungeons and Dragons session to attend. Cracking, right?
***PSA – If any of you lovely people suffer from depression, anxiety, have issues with self-injury, or need someone to talk to there are useful resources on my Something Useful page. ***