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Why I'm Daring to Love My Chronically Ill Body

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My body is what it is at the moment. Finding acceptance, even love, for this swollen and unrecognizable body is downright bold in a culture that fears extra weight – perhaps more than we fear illness.

I already have several conditions that challenge my body, including adrenal insufficiency, dysautonomia, migraine, and hypopituitarism… with an anorexic history. And now I’m dealing with something undiagnosed so I’m on steroids for acute pain, which means extra swelling. So be it!

I’ve decided to love and embrace my body. Over the last week, I bought new clothes that fit. When I wear them, I feel cute! But more importantly, I feel enthusiastic about getting dressed because the outfits are comfortable and just my size.

When it feels difficult to love my cushingoid cheeks, swollen neck and protruding stomach… I’m daring to love all of me. Even when I feel judged and misunderstood, I’m daring to give myself the love I used to crave from others. And when I feel unlovable, or afraid that people will walk away, I’m choosing to turn away from isolation and allow the love of friends and family into my vulnerable heart.

Through love and vulnerability I have found a bedrock of strength. And truthfully, I feel deeply loved – maybe even the most loved I’ve ever felt in my life.

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Originally published: September 8, 2017
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