Homework

June 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

“I wanted to write about the moment when your addictions no longer hide the truth from you. When your whole life breaks down. That’s the moment when you have to somehow choose what you life is going to be about.”

– Chuck Palahniuk

I’m in the process of figuring out what’s going to go in this space. But I have to be doing it before I can start writing about it.

I realise that what I’m putting out here is pretty much the most unpleasant of it all. The bits I’m trying to exhume, expel and exorcise. But it seems like a necessary and genuine part of the strange relationship between finding writing useful and fearing exposure still. Being encouraged by and involved in reading a variety of health-related blogs and yet worrying that the more I read will ensure that I never have another day where I forget it all.

I don’t have answers for any of that. Yet. But I do have some answers for some of Medicinal Marzipan‘s Body Lovin’ Homework, which I just found and am astounded by. My response to week one is below. It’s probably darker than I thought it would be but I guess that’s to do with the quote at the top. This no longer hides the truth from me.

  1. My body feels:

My body feels thick like butter. Spread thickly and greasily over a cracker. Fat on fat. It feels aware of my mental agitation today. It creeps over the hems of my clothes, sweats, dissolves, never dissipates. My body feels too big today. The wrong shape, lumpy and wobbly. It feels like all the things I feel I shouldn’t have eaten today. Which would be everything. It feels like a teaser, a taunting mistress, a jester. It goads me to hunger and ravenous distraction, but it disappears and everything tastes wrong. It leads me up the garden path, to foods that will not make me feel good. It feels aching for a poison, begs for a hit and then retreats. Calls out in pain. Holds onto those grievances, physically collects them and shows me them in every mirror.

My body feels strong occasionally. It can run and flex and grow in strength. It teases with progress and again, moves away, preferring sloth. That pervasive ache of feeling unwell and unfit. Unfulfilled.

My body feels full of potential and full of disappointment. For all that it feels capable, it feels like its worst enemy. Constantly confusing the signals, which I cannot read. Telling me it is hungry when it is not. Denying that it feels sleepy, tired, unloved, needing rest and sleep and love. My body feels like the betrayer that tells me how to fix everything is to put something in. Plug the gaps with dough and softness. My body feels like the spoilt brat that whines for more toast and jam and another day off sick, but craves and needs a strict parent to help it. My body reaches out and feels for structure and strictness, but finds only my soft mind and its unforgiving loving.

My body feels like the culprit. My mind is stood next to it wearing the “I’m with stupid” t-shirt and looking smug. My body takes the flack for my mind’s bad choices. My body feels like my mind’s punching bag.

My body feels sick and weary. At the mercies of my pill and my health and my lack of self-care. My body is crying for some affection. My body feels sorrow for all that my mind cannot see out of or overcome.

2. My body was made for:

My body was made for more that I let it do. It still listens to my d grade PE teacher, who didn’t account for effort. It hears a seven-year-old ask it why it’s fat. Feels guilty. Stuffs another biscuit in. My body was made to rejoice. In sunlight (real and self-made). My body was made to stretch and run and walk all day in the drizzle. Up mountains, along the sea. My body was made to take me places, not to trap me in here, in my skull. Away from the sun. My body was not made to be a shield from the world, an excuse to hide, a reason to hate and an excuse for fearfulness. My body was made to be held out like a sword, a weapon in battle. My body was made to shine and be proud.

My body was made to form cysts in my kidneys. My body was made to send me this premonition of the future to remind me that there is nothing I can do about what is already written. My body was made to prove me wrong. Live without symptom. My body was made to mock me. To feel symptoms only of things that I inflict upon it, not the conditions which are out of my control but far more serious

My body was not made to be hated. My body was not made to be celebrated in magazines on swimwear, but to be laid down softly and loved. My body was made to be given, in acceptance, both to myself and to those worthy (though so far it’s only found one). My body was made to react to sugar. To feel loose with alcohol and to suffer withdrawal from those drugs enough for me to know that I shouldn’t need them. My body was made to stand naked on a hillside in the soft drizzle and the cloud and sink into the moss. My body was made to live, thrive and die. My body was made to return and reconcile, to live out its days in the humble knowledge of where it once was and where it will one day be.

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