The Body of My Soul

TW: weight loss, body image talk

Today I stepped on the scale and began to cry as I watched the numbers settle, barely reaching 100. I looked up into the mirror. Avoiding eye contact with my tear streaked face, I scanned every inch of freckled porcelain set against the coffee colored backdrop of the bathroom walls. My waist was drawn in as if someone had tied a gift bow around it too tight. It gave the illusion that I had some curves, ‘hips’. If you were to touch them, all you would feel is bone. My ribs pushed at my skin. Every time I took a breath they pushed harder, trying to find a way out. My collarbone came to two peaks in the front of my chest, the hollows they created almost as deep as the ones under my eyes. My eyes; always they have battled with my sense of ‘normalcy’. A normal, healthy person does not look like they went 12 rounds with Muhammad Ali everyday. I had even gotten 10 hours of sleep the night before. It looked as if I were wearing a smoky eye; my lids naturally an exhausted orangey-brown. Underneath were a mix of greys and browns so dark they treaded on black, feathered in were unhealthy looking blues, purples, and reds.

I could go on and detail every little aspect about my body that emphasizes the fact that my BMI is 16. I’m not going to.

When I finished noting my dark circles, I stopped. At this point in my obsessive breakdown I had been sobbing; shudders running through my body like electric shocks. I met my own gaze. I stopped crying. I pulled my clothes on and came straight into my bedroom. Pulling out my laptop, I began to write. I began typing this very blog entry, because God knows you can’t stand around all day deconstructing your body’s entire physical state (that you have absolutely no control over). But you can do something with those feelings and thoughts. Put ’em to paper and at least they stop banging on your skull for a bit.

I am terrified for my future at this point. I honestly am scared. I don’t know how I will survive if I keep losing weight and become a weak, shell of myself. This is chronic illness. On top of my carpet bag of other BS, there is this. This may very well be a problem I deal with for the rest of my life. I have been dealing with it for my entire life! Since I was born my GI tract has never cooperated with me. Causing me so much pain, making me miss out on fun times and opportunities.  And no one has told me anything; what is wrong, what will help, how to cope. I pray hard everyday this new GI doc will be different. God I pray he is. I need answers or a finger pointed in a direction at least. I chose to tell myself that no matter what my outside may look like, I am still me. I have no idea where I saw this but it read “You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body”. You are you know matter what. Scars, tubes, lines, negative limbs, assistive devices, services dogs, any weight; you are a person with a mind and personality no different than if you were a blank, neutral slate.

I never do any of this for pity or attention. I do this because I need to. Talking things out, even to an anonymous audience is therapeutic in  a way. Gets things off my mind and on to paper. Who knows someone may be fighting a similar battle, reads this, and finds solace in the facts someone out there is having ups and downs just like them. That they are not alone.




Plans And Answers (plus birthdays!)

I know it has been a long while. I needed a little break and time to adjust to school in full swing. School has been crazy, I’ve had doctors appointments weekly including meeting with my new neurologist and setting up a 504 plan which will be a separate post, and physical therapy in between. Juggling a personal life with multiple friends turning 18 this month has also been another, but much appreciated calendar filler. I also turned 18 this month so I finally got my long awaited tattoo. It is in my grandmother’s handwriting. I opened the birthday card she gave me mere hours before we left for the parlor and had been struggling with what font I wanted. But I knew instantly that the word MORE (as in ‘I love you’, ‘I love you More’ ) written in her gorgeous cursive was what was meant to be.


Now, today I wanted to talk to y’all about prayers and how they came to be answered over the past few years and how I now know that everything in my life has happened for a reason. Answers to prayers can be difficult to hear sometimes. They may come in a whisper and you may be looking so hard for answers then, that you look it over like when your brain deletes a repeat ‘the’ or when you’re doing a word search and you swore that letter ‘t’ wasn’t there before. Other times a whisper may be exactly what you need to hear in your crazy chaotic life and it comes across crystal clear. On occasion there are the magnificent, grandiose moments where you just…know, and you are thankful and you praise His name. And in those same moments, you can go about your day blind, unseeing.

When I had my accident and received my concussion, I struggled quite a bit with answers. Those that have been reading my blog or know me personally can tell I have been through what seems like just about everything imaginable. People often assume I am doing much better now that I am back in school and participating in life more, I sort of am. Mainly because I have adapted amazing coping mechanisms. But before that, I struggled. A lot.

I was frustrated, depressed, irritated, confused and not all of it was from being elbowed in the temple. I think I actually went through the 5 stages of grief. I mean I cleaned my garage out the day after the hit, it was just a mild concussion right? Bam, denial. Then came the anger. At the girl that had hurt me, even though accidently, and at God. How could you let this happen? No answer. Bargaining came next. With my doctors it was ‘If I lay in the dark for 3 days completely, can I use my phone on dim’ or ‘When I do therapy, I’ll take a dance class also’. With God it was I promise I’ll treat my sister better, I’ll be more thoughtful concerning others and then I’d pray for health. No answer. Finally depression set in. I took time off school, some of my friends left not wanting to deal with the difficulties in managing a relationship with the new me. I asked God, Why did this happen? No answer. Why to me? No answer. I was abandoned by everyone I cared for, including the most important one. Or so I thought.

Now I have finally reached the stage of acceptance. I still struggle physically, emotionally, socially, and sometimes need a little reassurance that this was meant to be. But I know in my heart that this was His plan. I look back on those years of confusion, pain, and ultimately a derailment of faith and I see His answers were there all along. I was just so wrapped up in my self that I couldn’t see it.  First off, it was time for me to grow. I needed a catalyst to get the motions rolling. This colossal event, my ‘burning bush moment’ as my youth leader called it, forced me to look in the mirror. I wasn’t sure I loved what I saw so I decided to change that. And to answer the ultimate question, the one most people have when something goes amiss? Because it was supposed to happen to me. Without this life altering event and the discovery of multiple chronic and possible chronic illnesses, I wouldn’t know my purpose and I definitely wouldn’t be sure of who I am. I give thanks and praise to my Lord and God, who has shown me my path and given me a purpose.

Keep your hearts and minds open and you will know when your prayers are answered. Even if they may take time to realize, give thanks and know you are loved.