I’ve never understood my body.
I have never felt comfortable in it, appreciated what it does, the marvellous mechanics that makes it mine.
I have never understood its ability to gain weight at the blink of a lash, lose it for no reason or with amazing slowness. It’s propensity to bloat out then bounce back again. My body is, and always has been, like an alien being that exists beside my conscious self.
This last 18 months it has been somewhat fragile. Indeed, it has been broken over and over in completely unrelated ways.It has had surgeries, and organs removed. It has had several bones broken, It has been cut, stitched, pinched, squashed and injected. An ovary gone, cancer removed. Shoulder frozen. Steroids injected. Lumps biopsied. Portions cut out.
And yet, it heals, albeit slowly. Skin forms over wounds. Tissues grow around absent organs. one arm compensates for the limited use of another. Hormones are produced differently – but importantly – in compensatory levels. Skin moves, expands, stretches, grows, shrinks.Scars that are visible, scars that are not.
My conscious self objectifies the body’s aging. It wonders at decreased motion, at limited flexibility, at lumps, bumps and little whatnots that must be removed or replaced. Then, wondrously, it begins to show signs of weariness itself. The memory goes. Simple objects no longer have names. Sleep comes in great deep dark waves – or not at all. Patience grows thin.
“Stress” they tell me. “Anxiety. You have been through a lot.” “Time to slow down, take a break. Be kind to yourself. Heal”.
Through this, I continue to teach, to work and to manage the family. But my conscious self – and my body – both tell me daily the same one thing.
The. Same. One. Thing.
“You are still here,” it says. “YOU are still here” “You are STILL HERE”.
For this I am grateful. For this I am appreciative. For this, I know it is time to make great change.
If you are still here – hold my hand. Remind me that it is all for good, all for right, all for the best. Then watch me jump.