Dear body,

I know we haven’t had the best relationship in the past. Quite frankly I know I’ve been a total bitch to you. I used to hate you so much, but now that I understand you, and why you’ve acted the way you have done, I want to say how sorry I am for my behaviour. 

I’m sorry for how I felt about you as you were growing. You looked so different to all the other bodies at school, so I thought that there must be something wrong with you. I’m sorry for not nourishing you or moving you about enough then either. I now know that was my fault and not yours.

I feel bad for what I put you through while you were going through so many changes, while you were growing from a girl into a woman. I was staving you of what you needed, and I was hating you for being so different. I failed to understand how my actions affected you.

I’m so sorry for all the abuse I’ve given you, I’ve called you the most horrendous of names, wished I could cut bits of you off and suck bits of you away. I’ve starved you, and force fed you until you were ready to burst. I’ve made you move for miles without giving you the fuel to do so. I’ve drank so much toxic alcohol I’ve made you sick several times. I’ve made you stay out in the sun too long and you’ve burned. I’ve been in such pits of despair, I’ve made you ill. 

I’m so sorry.

In return you have quietly put up with most of my bullshit. I know you’ve had to take a stand a couple of times to show me how much I’ve hurt you, you’ve felt threatened and done what you feel is best in that time of threat. 

Perhaps you’ve known that one day I’d be writing this letter and it would all be worth it?

I have so much to thank you for. You’ve taken all my abuse and dealt with it in the best way you could. You’ve carried me through life so robustly, I still wonder in amazement at how you have handled some of the things I’ve done to you and how well you have healed. I know I have been frustrated at you when you haven’t changed the way I wanted you to, but now I understand why.

You never complained when I got that bad rose tattoo when I was just 15, you just healed up and got on with it. You’ve done the same for all the decorations I’ve added to you over the years, I love how beautifully you display the art that represents parts of my inner self.

CIMG3603Your feet are so amazing, they let me run two half marathons and achieve more than I ever dreamed of. Your knees were injured, and I pushed you beyond your limits, but you knew how important it was to me to complete those races and you did them for me. Better than running those races, those feet have let me dance all night long, even with blisters from my high heels, creating memories that will stay with me forever.

Your arms and legs are incredible, they can lift so much weight now and new muscles have formed to help you do that. That strength makes me move through life with so much more ease.

The way you carry your fat and muscle and how it is distributed gives you a beautiful shape, that I’m only just starting to appreciate. 

We’ve been in this relationship for 31 years and only now am I starting to understand you. Instead of seeing you as different, I see you as wonderfully, beautifully, unique. You are not ‘wrong’ or ‘broken’.

I have started to listen to the words you say – translating them from the feelings you send to me and the changes that appear in you. You’ve been strong enough to stand up to me when I’ve bullied you a few times, and I know we still have some trust issues, but let me promise you now, there is no threat here anymore. I know we are doing some work together to heal, but I have faith that we’ll get there. I just know I need to be patient with you. 

So thanks for everything. Thanks for sticking by me and teaching me the lessons I’ve needed to learn. I promise I will never treat you badly again, I will listen to you and we can work through any obstacles together. I think the next 30 years of our relationship are going to be incredible, and I hope that we can move on now as the best of friends, I love you so so much, thank you.

Laura xxx

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