I think everyone has gone through a period in which they felt sort of alienated from their body. The body can majorly fail to do what it “should” do (as in my recurrent miscarriages), it can do something it “shouldn’t” do (sickness), or maybe someone could experience it on hallucinogenics (no judgment from someone who takes Ambien to sleep).
I spent years trying to shed my need to be in a body because I thought I was too special to be confined to a meat sack, and I think that accepting that I’m not was one of the things that moved me from “in recovery” to “recovered (but never impervious to relapse).” I think working out helped, too, until I stalled in terms of progress.
In the time I’ve been seeing only M, I’ve done quite a bit of reflecting on my dating experiences. I’ve written quite a bit, but I can’t seem to decide how much I want to share my shame (in terms the way I’ve allowed men I’ve liked to treat me), and other things keep coming up. But, the short version is that it left me feeling kind of gross and afraid, and I think that has affected my desire to deal with my body.
I started slacking off in the fall, and by Christmas, I wasn’t really going to the gym at all. I was tired all of the time, and I didn’t want to go. I was more disturbed by the fact that I didn’t want to go (and do something that had been a very healthy outlet/hobby for a couple years) than I was with the fact that I didn’t go.
I actively avoided looking at my body. If I look, I will feel bad about it, and eventually that may turn into eating-disordered behavior. I know I just skipped over quite a few steps between “seeing my body” and “catastrophe,” but you get the idea. The chances of me getting all the way to point Z are slim, but there’s no harm in such a simple intervention at point A.
I’m a single mom who has a job that I adore…but it does force me to make my sleep/wake cycle fit into hours that go against my wiring. Obviously, I’m going to be tired, and that’s just tough shit.
A couple weeks ago, something was really not right with me. I got pretty sick, and I was scared because I didn’t know what was going on. I know now what’s going on with me, and I’ve read the shit out of it, but I don’t know how it’s going to affect me in the future. I mean, I have interstitial cystitis, which is technically a chronic illness, but it’s had very little affect on my life ever since I took Elmiron for 6 months. But IC made sex difficult for years, and I already knew what I was dealing with by the time I was diagnosed.
This happened very fast, and I’ll only know how it’ll affect me in the future by going through now until the future.
I told most people who knew I was sick that I had strep. I was surprised to be asked questions about what antibiotic I was on. Google gave me the answer. I’d just been on amoxicillin for dental implant surgery, so I went with Z-pack.
I was GROSS sick, like I didn’t have any control over my body. And now I feel gross and afraid. I don’t know what I’ll go through later on, and I’m kind of horrified by my body right now.
The good thing is that I felt so grateful to get better, so much better by comparison, that I got myself back to the gym three times this week. I’m treating it as starting over, and I’m consciously doing short workouts, because my goal right now is to want to go back.
I’m also paying some more attention to what I eat; my strategy is to concentrate on getting all of the “good” stuff in, and to choose to (mindfully) eat treats sometimes, but not to just grab simple carbs that I won’t even really enjoy.
That’s all very positive.
But I still do not feel convinced that I’m not physically disgusting. Although M didn’t see me sick, I am very afraid that he’s repulsed by my body’s rebellion. I’m afraid he won’t want me anymore. I’ve actually said this to him, and I didn’t get any response to it (although things seem normal otherwise). I feel terribly self-conscious, even afraid, when it comes to anything related to sex.
I’ve seen him since I’ve been feeling better, and I blurted out that I had my first period in two years, so that was why I wasn’t trying anything with him.
It’s kind of hilarious that my body decided to randomly have a period in the midst of all of this. When I saw, it took my mind a couple seconds to process what I was seeing. I wasn’t even sure if I still had “supplies” at home, and I had to bum some from a coworker to get through the day Monday.
Anyway, I don’t know how things would have gone otherwise. I would have liked kisses, but I was too shy to do anything.
I’m glad I took advantage of feeling much better by comparison, and the desire to get healthier overall, though.
I’ll get used to being in my body again.