I have a strange relationship with my body. I mostly acknowledge it as a vessel for my experience here. I know that it is fleeting and temporary and I understand how culturally we get caught up in appearances and surface level bullshit because what we can consume at the level of sight understanding is easy, but what’s beneath, what’s deeper, what’s more true but unknown and scary, is difficult. In my mind, I’ve never gotten too attached to my body in any one way, though I know in reality, that’s not true. I know that I feel better when I look better, (better meaning by the standard of what’s idea for a white Western woman). And I know that to say I’ve abused my body is an understatement.
I have an addictive personality, and that’s been an issue since I’ve been a kid. I have clinical depression, anxiety and OCD, though some therapists have theorized my OCD is actually just a symptom of my addictive personality. I’ve dabbled in self mutilation, recreationally abused narcotics, found solace in excessive alcohol consumption, you name it. Anything to numb myself. Anything to kill me without being dead (though most days, I genuinely wouldn’t have cared if it were the latter.)
I’ve starved myself down to a size 2, and still get a little thrill when I’m able to go the whole day without eating. I’ve recently lost a lot of weight, and the more that comes off, the more I love myself. My relationship with myself is conditional, and it weighs on whether or not I’m perfect. Whether or not my body is making way for me to be happy and content. But of course, it never quite is. Because in my mind, perfect is what other people perceive it to be, not what makes me happy. It’s why I contour my face and perpetually give more in bed and feel uncomfortable taking and buy pants that are in style this season and skip lunch if I know I’ve had over 400 calories that day.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me as a person, I like to just think that I’d been dealt a shitty hand. The issues that I was born with would have been manageable if I hadn’t also been born into difficult circumstances that made way for more difficult experiences to come. Though now that I’m older, I can’t help but wonder if it was those issues that made the experiences, or at least, I interpreted them a certain way because of how I felt on the inside.
I’m always stuck in my body. I’m always stuck with the issues that it inevitably lends me as I try to go through my life like a “normal” person. But we all have our issues, some are just better at hiding it than others. Some write about it publicly, and some wear masks as they do. Either way, I think the only thing that matters is if you can come to terms with it, and realize that fighting your way in or out of anything will get you nowhere but deeper in your own self-induced shit hole. It’s one second at a time, deciding that you are going to be okay and knowing that nobody is ever flawlessly happy, we just pretend to be. And that somehow, the more we pretend, the more we become what we pretend to be, for better or for worse.