An Apology to My Body

“Dear Body,

I don’t even know how to speak to you. It’s like we speak two different languages. I feel like backing out with the excuse of ‘this is stupid’ but, I have to do this sooner or later. I’ve already taken so long so, here we go.” I take in a deep breath, stalling for time. How many times had I tried this before: standing in the mirror trying to appreciate what is mine,

“Dear Body,

I like…” I pause to peruse my body and think what I should choose. My hips? Nah, Eh, My…?

“I like my birth mark on my left shoulder.” If there was ever something that I was proud of it would be that. It made me feel unique. Never, have I ever been ashamed of that. Ironic, isn’t it? Most people would be self-conscious of such a huge mark on their arm but, it is the one thing that I have never doubted about my self.

Sometimes, I forget its there until someone gasps and says, “what happened?”  and I look around confused until they point out the mark. “Oh, this is my birthmark,” always with a smile. Usually, because I’m laughing internally at the fact that I forgot it was there or that it’s unusual.

Next, I think of my dimples. Yes, that’s something I love. As my sister says: each dimple makes you 10% cuter.  I guess I’m 20% cuter. I squint harder in the mirror and look at myself. Everything else at one point or another has been hated or not good enough in my own eyes. I sigh again, this time in sadness.

“Dear body,

I’m sorry.” I state as the tears begin to run down my cheeks. All the memories of me ignoring my body’s attempt to communicate with me come back full force.

“I’m sorry for thinking that you didn’t know when you were really hungry and starving you. I’m sorry for ignoring the signs you showed me with brittle nails and shedding hair.”

I spoke up louder, beginning to yell at myself, “I’m sorry for ignoring your pain, the injured shoulder with shooting pains, the aching knee. I’m sorry that I kept on pushing you to jump and move when you were injured.”

“I’m sorry for thinking that you were against me when all you really wanted to do was help me.” I whispered to myself.

“Shuttling the blood from my hands and my feet to keep my vital organs functioning but, I never understood why my hands and feet were so could. Holding on to fat so I could survive the starvation period and I never understood my diets wouldn’t work no matter how hard I tried.

Why is it that I never understood you or your purpose? I thought you were my enemy but in reality, I was my own enemy.

I was only trying to do what was best for your health but, I was the one ruining your health. The reason why it took me so long to talk to you in the mirror is not because I feel stupid but, because I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed of my own self-sabotage and betrayal.

I never wanted to hurt myself. I thought that what I was doing was love but, I guess I never knew how to love my body from the very beginning. I was always seeing what was wrong with it and never what was right.

But, please, don’t give up on me yet. I am learning to love again. I am learning that I don’t need to be starving to eat or have exercised to eat. I am learning that I can grow strong nails after all these years and my hair doesn’t have to fall out with stress.

I’m learning and I can continue to learn. So, please, don’t give up on me yet. I am sorry, so sorry that I had to learn so late. I am sorry that you had to suffer this much because you didn’t give up on me when I was literally killing you and thank you for being so resilient.

Thank you,

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Shika Tamaklo is a pharmacist who graduated from Mercer University (2020). She is a college lifestyle blogger who writes on fitness, health, life struggles, creative side hustles and, occasionally dabbles in creative writing.

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