The Body War
I want to make some changes in my life but as much as I want to make them, I don’t. Which is why I never really do...
I am not alone in this war with myself. To some degree, everyone one of us is fighting some variation of it. Wanting to do things differently than we have always done them, but when pushed, fall back into an old groove that we have been desperately trying to get out of...
Currently, mine all have to do with physical health. I have been at war with my body for years, actually my life time. I have allowed the trauma from the past to cause a divide between my body and my psyche and guess what? The mind always wins...
And I didn’t really allow the trauma from the past to do this, it just did. I learned to disassociate from my body so that I could drink more, eat less, sleep even less. I have pushed it to the limit more times than I have cared to count. Even when I was healthier...I overdid that too.
If there is one thing my life has lacked, it is balance. I am forever out in the extremes. WAY out there. Eating whatever I want, not eating but one meal a day. My diet is all over the place and I am feeling the effects. The lack of care in this area over the course of my lifetime is taking its toll. I know it. Yet, because of all this unhealed shit from the past, I have been unable to really effectuate any meaningful change. These old ideas about myself creep in, almost without my knowing, and they run my fucking life. It doesn’t matter where the person I am today wants to go...she will always be overtaken by the person I have been in the past. Kind of like some shadow self that always seems to rush in and really fuck things up just when they are going quite well.
For me, 2022 is going to be about dealing with this change I want to make. It is really a declaration of war to some degree...because I will battle myself hard and long. I am not sure why or how but somewhere long ago, I declared a silent war against my body and it has been raging ever since. I would not say that I have an eating disorder, but I do. I am not sure what category it falls into...but it is not healthy or normal.
What I see now with everything I eat is a lack of care about myself. I do not eat breakfast which is destabilizing for the whole day. It is because I am so unimportant in my life that I have not or will not make time for this in my morning routine. I will skip lunch, same issue. Dinner? Never, unless I go out with someone to eat. Then I will eat dinner. So one of the most foundational building blocks for life, is this completely haphazard thing in my life.
And, I have a lot of shame around it. I feel badly about the way I eat. But I hide that under a lot of bravado and a good metabolism. I am not healthy. I eat like a five year old who has been left unsupervised for a weekend. True story.
So what to do when you meet yourself at a place you have always been, do not like it and want to change but feel like you can’t get at what always causes you to relapse back into a place of disinterested self care?
Fuck if I know...
But I am going to try. I am going to work on healing the past, keep going on the EMDR. Keep seeing if there is something else I can learn or discover about why I refuse to take good care of myself physically. I do the bare minimum, and sometimes not even that. Last night I ate chocolate for dinner...this is not an anomaly, I probably do this at least twice a month...maybe more often, I can’t be sure because I don’t keep track. And lets be honest, I really don't want to know...
So I am admitting that I have been at war with my body for decades. Starving it, over feeding it, ignoring it, pushing it, reviling it, trying to be grateful to it, but on the whole hating it.
So the change war on this topic for me isn’t about me getting super fit or skinny or whatever. It is finding a way to live in this shape and do it differently. To care about it like it matters to me. Because if there is one thing I see going forward, is that my body will (and is right now) going to call the shots. Youth gives rise to the arrogance that you have time, you can eat what you want, burn the candle at both ends, sit on your ass and watch endless amounts of TV. But time teaches us not so gently that it will always win in the end. Consequences come for us all, some deserved, some not. Our bodies are our hosts for this life, and once they are done...so are we.
I am not sure I can change my long standing feud with my host, but I am going to try. Try to see this shape of mine as something to be grateful for and to treat better. I would like to change my treatment of myself but I am seriously doubting I can. Which is why I am owning it here. I am scared to tell the truth, so I know I have to. I would like to treat my body like something I value, instead of wholly ignoring it and treating it like an inconvenience.
I would tell you that I am starting this next year but that isn’t really true. I am working on it now. Seeing all the ways I leave myself hanging, treating myself like I don’t matter over and over again. Working hard to ignore basic things I need...like good food, rest and a little exercise. I want to change, I would like to have a cease fire with myself, surrender the long standing war...but like a Private First Class, I am at the whim of a general who remain unseen. This life lived thus far jumping at orders from a commander whose benevolence is seriously questionable. I am thinking it might be time to go AWOL. Or perhaps I can defect. Regardless of which thing I do, it feels like treason. Which is so odd because on the landscape of my life, the battleground is mine alone. I am the general supreme so why in the fuck have I been acting like I have no say?
No idea. But I am committed to finding out.