An assignment from my body image therapy group
April 24, 2018
Thank you for fighting for me. Thank you for holding on when I was begging you to let go. Thank you for having faith in me despite all you’ve been through. I’m so sorry.
I’m sorry that you were disconnected from our soul by hands that we thought we could trust. I’m sorry that my act of reclamation was based around the idea that if I could hurt you more than others did, that I was still in control. I’m sorry that I tried to numb you, as if you could ever be stilled –as if you should be– as if the scarlet seas dancing beneath your skin were somehow wastes of the oxygen they carried, as if they didn’t used to carry hopes and dreams and memories of starlit nights where heaven felt tangible. I’m sorry for every time that I generalized you by saying that you wanted to die, because you never did. When my brain screamed six feet under, sixteen pounds lighter, six hundred hours more, you trekked on.
And when it all got to be too much, I could take my hand and place it in the center of my chest and feel your heart beating.
I could take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, slowly let it out, and feel your lungs breathing.
I could look left, look right, look at all of the vibrancy within this small space, and feel your eyes still searching.
I could run a finger over scarred skin, note that it doesn’t sting the way it used to, feel that you are still so brilliantly mending.
You are composed of trillions of cells, each a universe of its own, each living solely for us. You are the stuff of miracles, intricate organs and delicate veins woven together in the most perfect of forms. You are alive. You are so alive that it is infectious, it is intoxicating, it is overwhelmingly beautiful. You, body, are fighting for me. You want to be here. My heart and my lungs and my eyes and my skin, they are carrying on despite it all. They will continue the battle through disease and heartache and failure and loss and pain and disaster and hopelessness. Because they want life. You so desperately want life. We. Need. Life.
You don’t want to die. Your very essence, the elements running through you like sunlight through an open window, the carbon that diamonds are made of dancing through the bronchi just beneath your skin, the blood surging deep inside of you with the power of a million oceans… these parts of you do not want to die.
Our brain might, sometimes.
But majority rules.
You are human in all its vitality and vulnerability. You are the very definition of what it means to be alive.
And I’m sorry for reprimanding your attempts at resurrection.
I want to try again.