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Dedication to my body

P.S. I love you.

By Eva SmitePublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Photo by @effieskitsa

Hello there my dear friend, I thought I’d write you a letter. You deserve a lot more credit than I’ve been giving you up until now , and this is my way of celebrating you, as well as acknowledging all you do for me on a daily basis.

First of all, I am sorry. For not being there, for abandoning you so many times, for not listening , for being avoidant. For taking your abilities for granted, yet seeing your pain as a hindrance. A hindrance as a opposed to a message that there is an unmet need, an unprocessed emotion, a lesson for me. I am sorry for cutting you off and being in my head, especially when under the stress, thinking I am safer there. This was a coping mechanism I learned a very long time ago, when my world largely didn’t feel safe. And I saw your reactions , the natural reactions that were aimed to protect me , as scary. Nobody taught me back then that this is normal, sensitivity is normal, being overwhelmed, flooded with stress hormones when one doesn’t feel safe is normal. I got the message that something is wrong with you, with us. I couldn’t make sense of any of it, despite knowing so much in general and being a bookworm for most of my childhood. Now it is so obvious to me that even this tendency to read nearly every waking hour of the day, was also a coping mechanism, an attempt to self-soothe, to self-regulate , to distract, to avoid feeling, to escape and to abandon you as a result.

As I grew up, other self- medicating strategies became “cooler” to partake in. Strategies that were more harmful to you compared to me simply disassociating and losing myself in books. You didn’t object, you were always my most loyal and patient companion, who stood by me no matter what. But when you suffered significantly the day after, I blamed you for being unable to party and feel fine the next day unlike so many others. I didn’t honour your sensitivity, and saw it as a weakness as opposed to a strength that it truly is. Not only that, your beauty was something I relied on in order to make a living, yet I didn’t even appreciate that aspect of you. There was always someone skinnier, taller, prettier in the modelling industry and I would compare you to them, not seeing just how amazing you really are. Numerous compliments didn’t land, going in through one ear, and out of the other, but a single criticism was enough for me to turn against you. I didn’t yet know that the problem is not with you or me, but with the industry and the society at large.

At the same time despite now being able to travel and see the world, I still didn’t feel safe in my body, and still knew very little about how the nervous system works. The only thing that I did know is that apparently my one is “weak”. I’ve been told so by those who supposedly knew better. Oh well, yet another reason to hold it against you for malfunctioning and not being at your best. Only years later, after reading the latest neuroscience research and speaking to multiple therapists, it became obvious to me that there is no such thing as a “weak” nervous system. There is however something called easily disregulated nervous system, which is a natural consequence of a chaotic upbringing where a child continuously does not feel safe. In other words - given the circumstances in which it was wired, my nervous system worked just fine. Now it’s my job to learn how to regulate it, and make you feel safe… my friend.

There is so much I am grateful for when I reflect on our journey, dear body. Additionally I am simply in awe when I try to comprehend your complexity - the amount of processes that happen simultaneously in you to keep me warm, nurtured, rested and protected. The innate intelligence at play in you is truly astonishing, breath alone is such a simple yet powerful mechanism that I do my best to remember to utilise when in a fight and flight response. With each passing day I feel more and more that I am in the drivers seat, and at the same time how we work together as a team, building a relationship that is based on trust. I will do my best to not betray you ever again. Ironically the more willing I am to just be there with you, to feel it all during the emotionally disregulated states, the less overwhelming they become.

As I’m posting this article on our birthday, I want to thank you for everything you are doing for me to the best of your abilities. You are absolutely incredible and I couldn’t ask for a better companion in this journey of life. ❤️


About the Creator

Eva Smite

Writer, model, mental health advocate. Instagram @eva_smite

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