Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

I hate my body!

Or, should the title be: My body hates me?

I can’t really tell the difference right now, and the two are fueling one another.  

I’m not talking about body image, although as I said, I am still working on that.  I am talking about my physical, corporeal, biological being.  Everything inside of my skin seems to be rebelling against me.  

A) We have the Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia and the ICD that was put in.  Now, yes, I am happy we found the correct diagnosis.  I am happy that Lily (that’s what I name my ICD.  I named her after Lily from Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse {my second favorite book of all time. The first is Woolf’s The Waves.}) is inside my chest, preventing another sudden cardiac arrest.  I think I’m pretty lucky to have lived through one; I don’t want to live through another.  But my body is still healing.   Sometimes the site is sore.  I can’t lift my arm above shoulder height yet.  And for a few months, the amount I can life will be pathetically small.

B) As a result of the surgery and the subsequent medication, my lower GI tract has decided to stage a revolt on me.  And the remedies have been worse than the symptoms at some points, and we’re still not sure if they’ve worked.  

C) I may or may not have hypothyroidism.  My level last week jumped up by 2.0.  We are going to redo the test this coming week, with some additional labs, and see what happens.  But I definitely have some symptoms: weight gain, fatigue, constipation, and the wonderful depression that always seems to be a part of whatever I’m diagnosed with.  

I really do feel as if my body is attacking me, and I’m not sure why.

I was voicing this to a friend, and she asked:

What do you do with the hate you have towards your body for being sick?

My instinct has always been to restrict, cut, etc. I figure, it hates and hurts me, I’ll hate and hurt it back. Now that I’m not letting myself rely on those behaviors, i feel weird.

Exactly.  I was balled up on my bed Tuesday night crying.  Just crying because of everything.  No specific anything but just the overwhelming everything.  This is very new for me–letting myself cry rather than deny the feelings.  Even after I stopped using behaviors, I was still pretty good at shutting down emotions.  But lately, with everything going on, I haven’t been able to.

What do I do when I feel this way?  Well, another DBT skill is Self-Soothe.  Basically, you have five senses, and find away to use those senses to calm and soothe you.  When I was in the treatment program for self-harm, I had to make a self-soothe box.  Taste was difficult for me, but I put in a couple of different types of teas.  For Sight, I put pictures of friends and family in the box and decorated the box with inspirational quotes.  For Sound, I had a CD of classical music by Aaron Copland that I loved to listen to.  For touch, I actually cut off a piece of my cat’s fur to put in a baggie (I was at my parents for the weekend, and they were watching my cat), and for Smell I put in an aromatherapy stress ball (which could also be touch).  I kept adding to this box as my year in that program continued.  

Now, I don’t have an official box, but I do know that I can’t let myself take this hate out on my body.  No one’s body deserves that, and mine is just too vulnerable that now.  But doing nice things for my body, taking a bubble bath or practicing mindfulness by sipping tea, does help alleviate some of the distress.  

I also do a lot of cognitive therapy–challenging the irrational thoughts.  There are still a lot of things I am able to do in life.  From walking to teaching to knitting.  

And hate is a difficult emotion for me to hold on to, much like anger.  It takes so much energy.  And I feel as if that energy is needed elsewhere right now.


August 20, 2009 - Posted by | Body Image, coping, Eating Disorders, health, recovery, self harm, therapy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I have always said I wanted to divorce my body. I hate having hydrocheaplus and a hearing impairment. I also have a learning disability. HOWEver, my arms and legs as do my eyes-eyes work with glasses but they work. even with the hearing impairement, I CAN hear with hearing aids. I love holding my nephews and being able to cuddle w my pug.

    Comment by Diana | August 20, 2009 | Reply

  2. I feel honored i inspired an entry!

    Thank you for the advice on this.

    Comment by Andi | August 22, 2009 | Reply

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