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To the Body That Turned on Me After Years of Caring for It

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Dear body,

I remember when I started taking better care of you. I gave up soda and minimized my eating junk food. I learned to eat better, drink protein shakes, take vitamins, work out and I developed a passion for running. I tried many home remedies/recipes, always looking for ways to help you look and feel your best. I remember when you were strong, happy and independent. You could do anything and everything without limits.


You did all kinds of fun things including skydiving. You worked full-time, worked out after, took care of your son, had your weekly routine. You enjoyed going to lunch with your son at school and participated in school functions. On the weekends, you cleaned up (loved to clean), ran errands, spent time with your son, family and friends, going places, shopping, enjoying life. Doing whatever you wanted without limits. You kept yourself busy and you loved it.

I look at you now and all I see is sadness. How did you fall apart? Did I do something wrong? Did I mistreat you, not do enough to make sure you were healthy? I don’t understand how you just turned on me.

You drastically changed and lost control of yourself. You’re in constant pain. You spend your time and money going to doctor appointments. Feed yourself pain medication hoping something will work. Nothing does. As a result of the pain, you had to have cervical fusion surgery and Chiari decompression surgery in the same year. The pain continued and as luck would have it, your neck was unstable and you had to have another surgery. You’re recovering from that surgery now. The pain hasn’t let up so you’re still hurting, losing hope.

You went from strong, happy and independent to weak, depressed and dependent. As much as you hate to admit it, you need the help of others because your life is now filled with limits. You take care of your son as best as you can but now he has to help and worry about you. Everything you loved doing is now a painful hassle. Your diet has changed – now all you do is emotionally eat. You have two years worth of bottled up feelings, and as a result, you lashed out and pushed those you love the most away. I hate what you’ve become, hate what you’ve turned me into, a stranger I don’t even know.

I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive you for putting me through this. I don’t see how this is supposed to be my life’s purpose to rise. I don’t feel stronger because of what I’ve gone through. Yeah, it “could be worse,” but this is my life and it is my worse. I’ve never experienced a loved one’s death before so I don’t know what those feelings are like. I am lucky to be alive but I never thought my first taste of death would be my own. The person I used to be.

Dear body,

Everything said is written in anger. I want to have peace and forgive you for what you’ve become. With love and support and the words of a good friend, you will “rise like a phoenix.” For you are a survivor and you will get through this. Please remember you do have a purpose – to reach out and help others. With time and strength, remember you got this.

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Thinkstock photo via Tilly Gops.

Originally published: July 5, 2017
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