After years of intending to share my self-love story for self-love September, but then telling myself I can’t because it isn’t finished yet, I realised that it won’t ever be finished. As Kelly-Ann herself said, “Self-love is not a location at which we arrive triumphant and never leave. It is a choice we make each day. Your journey is valid and your wisdom is legit.”
With that in mind, this self-love September I want to share some of my self-love journey, specifically my current ‘big ticket’ issue; my body.
I wrote an iteration of this dear body post in a Twitter thread at the start of the year. I’m sharing it here as the first in a series of posts on this topic because that was the catalyst for me making real progress towards this area of self-love.
Content warning: references to self-harm & sexual assault.
I’m sorry for all the things I did to you.
Do to you.
I’m sorry that you have born the brunt of my mental illness. That you have been the war zone. That you have been my prison.
You are not those things.
You have held me through my darkest hours. You have been picked at and sliced and beaten. You have been filled with alcohol, nicotine and sugar. You been made to bleed but you have always healed. Every time I have fought to tear you apart, you have pulled us back together. Made us whole again.
I’m sorry that I have always seen you as the clingy friend I didn’t want. I’m sorry that I have, consciously & unconsciously, avoided you. I’m sorry that our detachment was ever a source of pride. I’m sorry that I never even wanted to be a part of you. I’m sorry that, even now, I’m not sure if I can be.
You didn’t abandon me, even when I abandoned you. Even when people took things from us that were not theirs to take. Even when I left you with them. Alone.
I could not take it. I could not be there. Not in those moments. I never considered that maybe you couldn’t take it either but you could not escape.
You were there and I have never said that I am grateful. I crumbled but you survived. I abandoned you when you most needed me. Worse, I never really came back. I put all the memories and trauma in you and then I shut the door on you & locked it tight.
I left you locked in with the demons that I couldn’t bring myself to even think of and you still kept me safe.
I’m sorry that those demons were so dark that sometimes they leaked out and I’m sorry that you suffered more when that happened. I’m sorry that my refusal, or inability, to face them put you in danger. I’m sorry that, even if only briefly, I blamed you for them.
I’m sorry for the hurtful words and cruel thoughts that I have thrown at you. I’m sorry that you have never been good enough, no matter what you did. I’m sorry that whatever shape or size you took, or how you changed to try to please me, I could never see you for what you are; a living, breathing miracle.
I’m sorry that I so easily return to detachment.
I’m sorry that I call you useless when you have proved your worth a thousand times over, even while I told you how worthless you were. I’m sorry that I cannot let you be weak, even for a moment, because I am so scared that if you crumble that will be it. I am sorry that I turn that fear into anger and resentment and aim it at you.
There is more. There is always more and I am endlessly sorry. For the pain, for the hate, for the words, for the rejection, for everything. I am truly sorry.
You did not choose this brain or this life or this soul. You are not my jailer or my prison. You are my fellow inmate. Maybe we can plot our escape together.
I want us to fight together. I want us to live together. I want us to love together.
You have always been on my team. I want to be on your team too.
Some of the Dear Body videos that inspired me