Somewhere along the way, I bought into a big lie. And “bought into” is putting it gently. “Dove headfirst into” is more honest. Sometime after creating and growing and nurturing a human being, I decided I needed to be sorry for my body. To apologize for subjecting the world to it. The extra weight and softness and scars became my biggest sins that I spent all my time repenting and atoning for. No one implicitly told me to. Subliminally, I’m sure; it’s never exactly been American media’s M.O. to make women comfortable in their skin. But no one I loved looked me in the eyes and told me to apologize right now for this sad excuse of a body. My husband loves me exactly the way I am, and tells me so nightly. If anything is going to influence the way I think of myself, it should be that. Yet, it consumed me. It’s a strange and sad existence when every other thought about yourself is “ew”. You may not realize it, but that thought pattern will wreck you. One day you’re functioning fairly well, making it – at least, and the next you’re telling your husband you’d rather die than exist in this body anymore.
Uh, come again? No ma’am. You see, somewhere in this year’s wide-reaching journey for self-acceptance (more on this coming, eventually), I made an impossible deal with my body. “I’ll accept you and love you once you look the way I want you to.” I covered it up nicely in grace and that I’ll take it slow and have realistic expectations, but in reality I’m rolling my eyes at myself anytime I catch a reflection in a mirror, scooting out of pictures when others try to include me, and talking to myself like I would never speak to my worst enemy. I’ve said things to my reflection that I would fight other women for saying. Horrible, degrading, downright mean things. I put my self-esteem in a headlock and dragged her down as far as I could get her without actually killing her. I think. I think she’s got a small amount of fight left in her.