An Open Letter to My Body on the Advent of My 36th Birthday

8:38 AM Edit This 16 Comments »
Skin and bones, don't fail me now.

I have treated you so badly. I doused you in alcohol for years. I've filled you with countless antibiotics and antidepressants. (And don't forget the anti-psychotics and anxiety medications which they used over and over in an attempt to bring me back to the land of the living.) Because of that, your liver still hurts on occasion. You never fail to remind me of my life of excess. Sometimes you're a bitch like that.

Lungs, you deserve a special apology. I've been smoking for years. I know you hate me for that - because you send me sinus infection after bronchitis after pneumonia in a reminder that I'm just being stupid every single time I reach for my lighter. I'm sorry. I promise I will give it more than a girl scout try this year to stop hurting you.

I've fried you in vain attempts to have the perfect tan. I've scrubbed and scraped at your skin trying to get that perfect complexion. I've cut you. On purpose at times - in that black hole of depression I now call alcoholism. I moisturize you on some days and not on others. However, I do cherish your wrinkles around the eyes. They tell me that I have - whether I believe it on some days or not - lived a life of laughter.

I've alternately starved you and filled you with horrendous food as I cycled through fits of anorexia and not caring what I looked like. You responded with stretch marks. I don't cherish those like I do my wrinkles. No. I don't. You can stop doing that anytime.

I've given up on exercise. I've given up on good sleep. On occasion, I try once more to give your muscles and your heart what they need. Cardiovascular strength? Um, no. I'm sorry. I know you want to rest more than you ever have before. Naps are more a necessity than a treat. And it's only because I was so oblivious to your needs in my previous life. You like alot of sleep. Mom used to send you to bed long before the other kids because she knew this. I was a brat and didn't believe it. I do now. You tell me without reservation when it's time to slow down.

I've filled your mind with vast amounts of knowledge and drivel. The synapses that run through your brain are hard and fast. I like you. I like your mind alot. In fact, I do believe you're my best feature - but don't tell the rest of them. They might revolt.

You are now bionic. My rod and bolts - they comfort me. Someday we'll have those removed and an attempt will be made to fix your knee that locks up in angry fits of bitterness. That was a very unfortunate accident, but you responded with a whole body kindness that took to crutches and physical therapy with abandon. Thank you for that.

You are still here. You still work. And I apologize for how awfully I have treated you. You have seen me through what I hope is the worst of times. You don't want to work the way that I want you to anymore, but that's okay. You're tired and you're worn. You've lived. And I've finally joined you on this journey that is life. I pray you keep on hanging in there with me. We've got a lot of time left to spend together.

16 comments:

lacochran said...

Happy Birthday, Kiddo! You and your body keep on rocking!

carrster said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATE!!!! Hope you have a great day! Take care of those skin & bones!! :)

BrianAlt said...

Wow, I thought of something that would have been humorous, but would have come off really terrible. So I won't say it.

But anyway, it's YOU, it's ALL YOU. It's okay to love you!

Matt said...

Happy Birthday.

I hope your body doesn't totally hate you.

Sparkling Red said...

Happy Day and Happy Year!

I know what you mean about the eye-wrinkles. I like them on other people, therefore I like them on myself now. They imply wisdom and kindness, when combined with a caring smile.

Nilsa said...

I was just telling my husband about you and your blog the other night. And I was saying how much you amaze me. Your journey amazes me. But the truths you share with yourself (and us) equally amaze me. This post is no different. Thank you!

LiLu said...

All too often I think about this myself, and am amazed by how strong my body is to deal with all the shiz I've done to it... oh well. Carpe Diem, right?

Just A Girl said...

You like MY spunk? Holy cow, I totally love you already. Why haven't I been reading your blog for like, ever? Happy birthday and be thankful that our bodies are so resilient. :)

Sweetly Single said...

Happy B-day chickie!!!

It sounds like it's time to turn in the warranty for the factory improvements!

Megkathleen said...

Happy Birthday!!

Summer said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Sweetie. I didn't blog much after the New Year. Sorry I'm late to the party.

Well at least you've apologized to your body. I wouldn't even know where to begin with my apologies to mine. :)

coconutgirl said...

happy (belated) birthday. you rock!

E said...

Happy Birthday lady. Don't forget to give her some good sex after you quit smoking maybe as a prize......

BrianAlt said...

Hey, you didn't mention the boobies!

Kristen said...

Happy Birthday! A little late, I know, but I've got my head up my ass.

melissalion said...

Happy Birthday!