I took these pictures the night I was discharged from the hospital, after a whirlwind 24 hour period where it was thought I was either having a stroke, or MS. Two really scary things.
When I got home I felt frail and broken. Yet I took pictures to document my body. As most women do after sickness, we think, “did I lose weight from this?” We actually hope for it after the flu or a cold. We battle back from illness and the first thought is, “how do I look?” I was not immune to it. Despite not really knowing what was going on with me at that point, I felt “skinny” and that was the state that made me feel most in control. Having my body look a certain way was what made me sane I thought, except when it didn’t (which was a lot.)
Because, bodies change and grow and shrink and get bigger all of the time. What I thought was extreme willpower was really disordered eating and anxiety. I still work with my thoughts daily on this. I have to remind myself that my life wasn’t better or happier looking like this, I just equated smaller with happier, as most women do.
I’ve been on a quest my whole life to be “perfect” in so many areas, which is impossible as you can imagine. “Perfect” keeps moving, like a target, you never quite get there. I have found that it lives in days gone by, where I wish I appreciated it when I had it. Repeat over and over and you get it.
I’ve been working on being my best self mentally this past year and a half, which doesn’t always coincide with my best self physically. And that is okay! It’s actually a freeing place to be. I have the privilege of not looking that different to the outside world from this picture to who I am now, except the difference is inside. In how I enjoy food a bit more and stop toxic thoughts and let go of a lifetime of worry. It’s a process, a slow one, but the most important one for me, and I hope, others.