This one is difficult, because I’ve never had a positive body image. And 19 months ago, I felt that my body failed me in some very significant ways, from not sustaining a pregnancy to term, to not producing milk for my premature infant, to not physically and emotionally coping to stresses the way that I felt that it should.
So when I saw this writing prompt yesterday, I nope’d right off of the computer and went to sleep. I’ve turned it all around and upside-down in my mind, though, and now I think I do know what about my body I’m grateful for.
Like I said, I’ve never had a positive body image, and I was extremely self destructive pretty early on. In elementary school, I already felt self-hatred and it quickly compounded over the years until I was pretty deliberately opting for the worst whenever I was given a choice. I genuinely believed I was never going to see my 18th birthday. The old saying “Live each day as if it were your last” is meant to convey that we should live each day to its fullest and follow our dreams and be kind to one another and blah, blah, blah.
I lived each day as it were my last, and to me that meant I would never have to face any consequences.
So what I’m grateful about my body for is it survived me. I’m covered in battle scars, absolutely, and probably inside as well as out. I mean, you can’t smoke for over 20 years without lung damage, probably irreparable lung damage, and who knows how different my brain would be today had I not abused it so much all those years ago.
The point is, for all the abuses I put my body through as a child, as a teenager, as a young adult, today I am walking, I’m learning, I’m communicating, and I am raising five amazing children. I’m grateful for my body for keeping things together and healing well enough that I’m still here to raise my kids 22 years after the point that I once thought I’d never see.