Written by Julissa Stewart
A letter to my body – after years of struggling in silence with body image, disordered eating, and self-destruction; after finally realizing the meaning and importance of self-acceptance.
*TW: Body image, self-harm
I am sorry for everything I have ever said to hurt you. I am sorry for continuously calling you fat, ugly, worthless, unlovable, and so on. I am sorry for mistreating you in ways that I would never in my life treat anyone else.
You are my structure - you allow me to move from point A to point B every single day. You give me life – by allowing me to breathe, to move, to work out, to enjoy community events and activities, to spend time with family and friends, to experience life through all my working senses, and to truly live. You are all that I have.
I am sorry for abusing you.
I am sorry for constantly telling you that you are fat and that nobody would ever be able to look at you or find worth beyond your appearance. I have always been so focused on your “fat”. I am sorry for continuously putting you in the dark and for contributing to your malfunctions to a flaw in the way that you are built, rather than to how you are reacting to distress. I am sorry for putting you down and depriving you of nutrients when I feel that you should be punished. I have abused you – physically, emotionally, and psychologically. I constantly bash you without ever giving you a chance. I am sorry for making you suffer, because I wanted you to be “better”. I wanted you to be thinner.
I should have embraced your qualities and built a dynasty of self love from them, but instead I focused on your flaws and I moved forward by attacking them. I am a bully. I thought I hated everything about you. I dug a hole so deep that I expected you to never crawl out of it, but you did. You always have. I didn't realize that you would still be there for me, no matter how poorly I treated you. You still give me life even though I tried to kill off most of you.
I am working on changing my mindset, and it is really hard.
I am tired of fighting. I want to love you. I still want to make you better, but not by abusing you. I want to watch you grow healthy. I want you to stay with me into my old age and be reliant that you will continue to hold me up. I want to mend the broken pieces of you that I bruised so often in the past by nourishing you and loving you. I am trying.
I want you to bring me life in the future - to create a family and give me a more meaningful purpose. I want you to take me across the world. I want you to keep me safe and protect me from sickness. I want you to be strong and resilient and to flourish. I want to watch you bloom from a life full of self-hatred to a new beginning – embracing everything you have to offer me in this life.
I pledge that I will treat you better. I no longer want to watch you diminish over time. All of the hurtful words have broken pieces of you that have left an open wound inside my soul. I am here to help you grow. Strength, beauty, love – I have searched for these things my whole life in all of the wrong places. Little did I know, you had been offering it to me all along.
So now, I want to thank you.
Thank you for putting up with the pain. Thank you for being there for me at my worst moments – even when I wanted nothing more than to rid you of everything you are, you stayed true to your purpose of protection and comforted me in my pain. You never gave up on me, especially when I no longer had hope in you. Now, I will not give up on you. I am ready to love you.
I am trying.