A Public Apology to My Body.

Via on Dec 20, 2012

weheartit.com

I’d like to issue a public apology to my body.

I’d like to carve out time and space to address the resentment and abuse of the vessel that has carried me through these last 29 years.

I’ve spent many years and many more dollars poisoning this body with cigarettes, alcohol and a colorful list of drugs. I’ve extended the damage with a misguided perception of what would improve this body’s outward appearance; I’ve starved, dieted, binged, purged and starved again in bouts of desperation.

I’ve run and run until my joints could no longer support the repetitive impact of foot to pavement.

I’ve cut in the face of emotional pain to sit meditative in the presence of physical pain.

I’ve looked disdainfully at thighs that were never slim enough, breasts that were never nice enough, hair that was never thick enough, and freckles that would pigeonhole me as “cute,” but never sexy.

Self-reverence was a myth and I was hopelessly rooted in personal reality.

In 2008, I was offered a final betrayal in the form a diagnosis. My reumatologist confidently checked a box that would never go unchecked. I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. Congratulations, Sara. You have Lupus

In a way, my diagnosis represented some twisted, poetic justice. After years of mistreatment and neglect, my body finally rejected the source: me.

It’s hard to wrap your brain around it, a war being waged under the surface of the skin. My body was in a constant state of inflammation. Confused about which cells were the good guys and which were the bad, it just went after them all.

My arms and legs would ache and throb. My hands, suffering from the associated arthritis, took my career as a massage therapist away and impeded simple tasks like opening jars and writing.

Lab tests tracked my wavering system. Numbers for inflammation, numbers for kidney function, numbers for complement levels; they all rose and fell bringing with them new “risks” and “concerns” that I refused to cope with. Instead, I tracked the rise and fall of denial and despair. I was tired, I was weak, and I was extremely bitter.

But with this letter, I intend to apologize for all that. I’d like to apologize for the damage I’ve done, and forgive my body for its current confusion. I want to be a voice of reassurance, not self-deprecation. I want to establish trust, because I’m not the enemy, not anymore.

My dear, dedicated body,

From this moment forward, I vow to feed you with clean food and positive thoughts. I will water you religiously. I’ll seek nourishment for your physical form, but also for the spirit you so tirelessly protect. I will strive to understand you, in all your delicate complexities, so that I may serve you into our old age.

I will accept my flaws and perfections in unison as the yin and yang of my being. I will appreciate my creaky, stiff hips as much as my bright, hazel eyes. I will revere my freckled skin as authentically as I revere my smile mid-laugh.

I vow to celebrate the successes of every single day. I have been granted the ability to get out of bed, however labored or stiff, without the use of a cane or a walker or a wheelchair. I have been granted the ability to write or type on most days, rather than having to give up my passion in totality. I am able to dance when music moves me. I still have the strength and endurance for yoga.

You helped me carry two beautiful children into this world, and more often than not, I can still scoop them up in my arms; there are no words to eloquently express the gratitude I feel for this. For now, I will simply say, “Thank you.”

I vow to keep perspective on these truths from this day forward, and when my humanness gets in the way of perfection, I vow to forgive myself, and carry on with peace in my heart.

I promise to surround you with other bodies that will raise your vibration. I will protect you from toxic relationships and I will hold on tight to this partner of ours, for he gives you the support, the embraces, the kisses, and the comfort that you deserve.

I will laugh at every possible moment, from the depths of my belly, until joy radiates from my skin and tears stream down my cheeks.

I will close my eyes from time to time and smile, for no particular reason at all.

On days when you are failing, I will not speak to you in anger. I may cry when I’m at my weakest, but I will not blame you anymore. I will listen to your cues, and accept when I need to slow down and rest.

From this moment on, I will hold in my heart that you are doing your best for me, and I will not expect more. From this moment on, we are a team and I will repay your best with my best; and we will be brave together.

With deepest gratitude,

Sara

 

~

Ed: Brianna B.

 Like elephant journal on Facebook.

About Sara Crolick

Sara Crolick is whiskey in a teacup. She loves elephants, vegetables, vintage typewriters, Audrey Hepburn and the written word, but not necessarily in that order. She raises two inspiring boys with her mister, who is a bona fide music-maker; this works out nicely, as she happens to also love music. You can connect with her via her site, Conversations with a Human Heart, her author page on Facebook and on Twitter, too.

19,289 views

Appreciate this article? Support indie media!

(We use super-secure PayPal - but don't worry - you don't need an account with PayPal.)

33 Responses to “A Public Apology to My Body.”

  1. Stephanie Vessely svessely says:

    Hi Sara. This is a really beautiful piece. I resonated with it deeply and feel inspired to make the same promises to myself. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Nichole says:

    Darlin', this speaks to me. I have FMS. Every word you write, is a reflection of myself. I get it. Know that I understand, and thank you for making me feel understood as well. Stay strong. Stay true. Love.

  3. Liina says:

    absolutely beautiful!

  4. banana says:

    i just realised, that despite having bookmarked to come back to re-read and be inspired, i never told you that, this is wonderful, because it's an experience so many women identify with, but so rarely is it articulated so truthfully.
    an excellent, pioneering article. :)

    • SaraCrolick says:

      banana!! <—–love that. Thank you for returning and reading and sending me this beautiful message. All my best to you!!

  5. Aaryan says:

    Thank you.

  6. Raylin says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Sara. I relate deeply to most of what you've written here (only differences are, my diagnosis was fibromyalgia and I don't have children or a partner – everything else, you could have been writing that letter to my body).

    • SaraCrolick says:

      I'm sorry to hear about the fibromyalgia, Raylin. That is a bit of a 'bonus' with lupus, so I know how dreadful the pain you endure can be. I've tried to explain the pain to some, but it's tricky; like tensing up because you have an almost-car crash, but your body forgets to let go once it has passed. I wish you warmth and love and a body that will release itself in time. All my best and thank you for sharing. xo

  7. Jennifer says:

    I don't generally leave comments but this touched me so. I would like to extend a big thank you for sharing this deeply moving message. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to express something so personal and truthful. I wish that all women could read this, especially those of us who have had the same thoughts and feelings. This would be a large part of our population! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • SaraCrolick says:

      Jennifer,

      Thank you so much for commenting and for the incredibly kind words. My struggles have been mine, but I hope that they can help others. It means so much that you took the time to leave a little love here. All my best to you!

  8. Megan says:

    This is beautiful!! I take my body for granted everyday! 8 years ago I found out I had a Pfo (a hole in my heart) and some other issues. I was devastated I felt like the one thing I controlled failed me like everyone else in my life at the time. I was even harder on my body almost like I tried to punish myself more! Then I gave up on all activities I loved which in turn was the ultimate betrayal. Now I’m trying to get my body and spirit back into shape. This was the motivating force I needed! Thank you so very much! You’re a strong and beautiful woman!

    • SaraCrolick says:

      I'm so happy you enjoyed this, Megan! And thank you for the delightfully kind words. I don't always feel strong (or beautiful!), but I think I'm on the right path for once. All my best to you!

  9. Alyse says:

    This is so beautifully written, Sara. I too was suffering from several autoimmune issues over the course of the past 2 years and was on the verge of a scarlet letter diagnosis of Lupus. My dermatologist, of all people, asked me to make one last ditch effort before prescribing more steroids that really just made my symptoms tolerable. He asked me to change my diet. He explained to me that our diet is what drives out body; essentially, you are what you eat. He told me to eliminate all inflammatory causing foods: gluten, red meat, poultry, and dairy. He was basically describing to me a Vegan diet. As a Nurse, I am well aware of the evolution of humans being hunters and gatherers. We evolved to have meat on occasion, not every day. Although I did not think that I would be successful in eliminating the foods I was raised to love, I told him that I would make a concerted effort. I made an appointment with my PCP, and he followed my health through one of the toughest journeys I’ve ever made, a juice cleanse for 30 days to jump start my new healthy lifestyle. (Refer to the documentary Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead). The first week was the worst, but it recharged me and taught me to crave fruits and veggies rather than salty carbs and junk food. After this, I essentially became a Vegan, although my lifestyle is considered to be Macrobiotic; I choose Gluten free products as often as possible. After about 6 months in, I feel better than I’ve ever felt before. No more steroids or medications, my body has healed itself. My PCP has monitored my health throughout this change and nothing that I’ve done has been detrimental to my body; I am “the picture of perfect health,” according to my PCP. I credit my dermatologist for my health today, and I highly encourage others suffering from their body attacking itself, to make a lifestyle change in regards to your diet and eating habits.

    I only wish the best for you and thank you for writing this enlightening piece to teach us to accept everything our body has done for us.

    • SaraCrolick says:

      Alyse,

      Thank you for sharing your story here and I couldn't agree with your more–the answer is in vegetables! I've adopted a vegan lifestyle and gone gluten-free as well. I have bad days still, but I think I'm honoring my body the way it deserves and it is responding.

      All my best to you on this journey, and thank you (again) for sharing your story. I only wish more people saw the healing (and damaging) potential in dietary choices.

  10. Jane Armstrong says:

    My daughter had a similar diagnosis. Because a friend shared her own story with her, it was discovered that the diagnosis was wrong. Her problems, which almost took her life, were the result of breast implants that had defective valves. We went to Atlanta to Dr. Susan Kolb who specializes in the removal of defective breat implants and the surrounding tissue. My daughter is now healthy and vibrant.

  11. Kimberly says:

    Sara, this is AMAZING. Thank you for sharing so bravely, so eloquently. I wish you vibrant health and healing, and joy unparalleled <3

    • SaraCrolick says:

      Thank you, Kimberly! I'm on the right path again, and I'll keep your kind words in my heart (thank you, thank you, thank you) Blessings to you as well!!

  12. Maggie says:

    this moved me so much! i had to cry. i thought of all the times i hated my body and tortured it. never again. thank you for sharing.
    the only way is up!

  13. BrettiePage says:

    This is so beautiful, Sara. Many, many blessings to you.

  14. Amy Evergreen says:

    Extremely well written. I can relate very closely with the subject matter. Thank you!

  15. Cheryl says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I am deeply moved by your article.

  16. Prachanda says:

    So nice article with touchy messages. Thank you very much.

Leave a Reply