Dear Body.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

As I sit in yet another sterile waiting room, waiting to get my thumping heart checked upon, to be once again pricked, more blood taken, I cannot help but wonder...why? I ponder on this a lot, as anyone who knows me will be all too aware, but right now, the question seems to be screaming. I am sitting here, instead of doing the training I love at East15 because my body is rebelling. It is rebelling, because I don't treat it as I should. I don't give it what it needs, I work it beyond its limits and I mentally abuse it constantly. I place all my self value and worth into it, and it will never be enough. A lovely teacher asked me yesterday, when I came over faint and my chest became tight "Maya, what do you see when you look in the mirror?" The honest answer, for all the photoshoots, working out, inspirational quotes, Lycra leggings, insane diets...I don't know what I see. I sure don't see the girl who photographers capture on film. She is a creation of their lens. I don't even see the woman who I will get on my iPhone and later post (followed by suitably annoying hashtags). I don't see the 'superwoman' that some (namely Jake) have described me as. I see something different every damn time. Some moments, I will see something I like, then the next I will notice something that makes me unhappy. A curve that goes a little too far, a nose that is a little too wide, a leg that looks far too big. When I catch sight of one of these things, self hatred will overwhelm me. I will begin mentally calculating how far I must run, how much I must work, what exactly I must eat, how much I can cut out. My body will always spew back a list of numbers, tasks and negative adjectives in the end. And along side all of this I am forever preoccupied that people will think I am arrogant. This is not to say that I am constantly miserable, things are so much happier now and there are people and things in my life that make me feel wonderful. I love that buzz I get from going to the gym, I look back at when I was struggling with 2.5kg weights in the presence of Jay Copley (credit goes to this one, who helped me build the strength I now value so highly and who had to hear my endless ramblings) and I am proud to have built the strength I have. I love dancing around the kitchen and house with Amelia whenever the mood so takes us. I love getting up to go to drama school. I love the human connections I am so much more capable of making, being big sis to Rory, having best friends like Phebe, Thea and Sam who I can chat to endlessly, revelling in stalking photos of #gressontour, calculating the wellness in my meal (Crez, Jake and Rory), I bloody love my job, I value all of these things and so much more in my life, and know that if I let anorexia totally overwhelm me, they will all be gone again, and yet I am treading a fine line and these past few weeks have clearly shown me that. It's quite frightening to be fainting regularly again, to be getting blood test results that are less than ideal, to be seeing consultants, to have people telling me how exhausted I look constantly, to be shaking and to be having heart palpitations. It's even scary to be told that the numbers are going down, although it comes with a certain exhilaration that I cannot deny. I suppose the thing of it is, I have to start making a choice. The choice as to whether I want to start listening to my body and stop pushing it beyond its limitations, or whether I want to see more and more hospital waiting rooms again, and once again start the endless cycle and downwards spiral of misery that anorexia brings, taking me further and further away from the life I'm building and loving. 

Dear Body,
So, I guess first things first, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for making you the enemy whom I waged war and the ground where I fought all my battles.
I’m sorry for always saying you’re not enough.
I’m sorry for pushing you far beyond your limits.
I’m sorry for not letting you rest, even when you hurt.
I’m sorry for damaging you, for the osteoporosis and for still being too scared to eat the foods that will help heal.
I’m sorry for not always feeding you.
I’m sorry for not telling you you’re beautiful.
I’m sorry for using you to measure my value.
I’m sorry for resenting you.
I’m sorry I cannot love you.
I’m sorry for always wanting you to disappear.
But honestly, I do hate you sometimes.
I hate how you’ve grown.
I hate the flesh that covers my bones.
I hate that you let me down.
I hate the curves.
I hate me hips, they’re repugnant.
I hate your need for love.
I hate your need for food.
I hate your need for validation.
I hate that you’re the first thing people see.
I hate that you will not shrink.
I hate that you came between love.
I hate that I only almost destroyed you.
But, don’t get me wrong, I love you for things too.
I love how you keep on fighting.
I love your strength.
I love how some people see you, I wish I could see the same.
So body, my vessel, my enemy, my canvas, my warrior,
One day I will learn to love you and treat you with care,
I just hope you don’t betray me before I find my way there.

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