I wrote the following excerpt in 2013 when I was very sick and fighting my ED. I have come a VERY long way since then, but during the time I wrote that excerpt, I was already tentatively fighting to get better. At any rate, I was looking at that letter tonight because I had a really really rough week and am battling some depression right now and I am totally exhausted from working 50 hours per week and I needed some encouragement. I had forgotten all about it until now. I hope maybe this can help someone else in the midst of an ED.
Letter From My Body To Me
I am stronger than you are. That said, I will never take advantage of you. You need to know that and to trust me. I only ask that you provide me rest, food, energy, warmth, and protection from harm. If you think I am fighting you, it is because you deny me these basic necessities. But my will to survive...to thrive...is stronger than yours. I am highly sensitive to changes, very finely tuned, and I am wired to make adjustments in response to them. If you starve me I have no choice but to slow my metabolism and send out hunger signals. If you deny these I have no choice but to adjust insulin and leptin. If you still deny me I have to slow down even more to conserve energy and body heat. I have to make you tired, dizzy, cold, because I have to redirect heat to my vital organs. If you do not provide me with enough body fat, I have to grow lanugo. If you purge, I have to fight to maintain electrolyte equilibrium. I have to take calcium and other minerals from nonessential places and pull them into the blood, sacrificing my bones in the process to save your life. If you work me too hard, I have to cause inflammation and soreness in the muscles. Without the materials to build muscle, I can not keep up with your demands, try as I do. I have to make your mind tired. I can not and will not sit idly by and let you destroy me without a fight. I do this not because I am trying to make your life miserable, but because I love you and I want you to thrive. You can not thrive without a body to live in. We have to make that clear first.
I can not be the body you want. I know you hate my short waist, the shape of my hips and butt, my narrow shoulders, my naturally round face. I am not perfect either. I have a dysfunctional thyroid, an intolerance to chemicals and foods and drugs and some hormones. I don't adjust well to foreign substances in my body. I don't trust them. I demand that you treat me well and give me only what is natural and healthy and I can be quite temperamental when you do not cooperate. I may be more demanding than other bodies. I responded to assaults on my body with endometriosis and I know that it was scary for you. I even forgive you for the loss of my ovaries and uterus and cervix. I have slowly adjusted, and as long as you can find a way to provide me with the hormones I need to function, I will do my best to work around not having organs that would have made that job easier. Though I am demanding, I am not inflexible. I have withstood a lot of abuse from you but still I fight to bounce back because I love you and I need you as much as you need me. Your demands of me are exhausting though. I am pleading with you to treat me better while we can still work with each other. My bones are deteriorating. My joints are not as lubricated as they once were. I am aging and this you can not deny or change. I want to continue to take you places, to be there for you in twenty or even forty years from now. You can make this possible if you simply provide me with the basic needs I have asked for. We have to live together, as hard as that is sometimes. Let's find a way to make it work, to get along, to find peace and acceptance with our imperfections. I know it will not happen overnight, but the less you fight me, the more I can give you. I can not guarantee I will not build more fat. I know it is your number one fear. But without it I can not provide you with energy, warmth, muscle, protection, repair of damage. I can give you only so much. I wish you could remove all the misconceptions about this part of me. I wish you could let go of cultural beliefs and attitudes and your fear of judgment from others and your fear of loss of control and your fear of identifying as a woman. You can not deny your very nature. And just so you know you are not in control right now anyway. You are controlled by your fears and self consciousness and thoughts and by my imbalances even. There is so much more of life for you to embrace and discover if you can let go of these. And I know you are as exhausted as I am. Lets not make this a race to see which of us collapses first. Lets try to find a way to make peace ok?
In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel
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