I Feel Unwelcome in My Own Body
Last updated: February 2022
The other day a friend sent me a poem and one line really stuck out to me. It said, “Growing inside of a body that I no longer call my home.” I felt seen in a way I haven’t been in a long time.
These were words that echoed through the depths of my own mind, but never quite rose above the surface. I felt this phrase deep in my bones. It was at that moment I realized that I no longer felt welcome in my own body.
Ankylosing spondylitis is holding my body hostage
I sacrifice so much of my mental well-being for the sake of my health. Anything my body asks of me, it shall receive. I’ve entirely surrendered to it. Yet somehow, that isn’t enough.
No matter what I do, or how well I take care of my body, it continues to ignore me. I’m leaving voicemails day after day, begging for a moment of its time to let it know that I want to come home and that I love it dearly. But never do I get a callback, a thank you letter, or any recognition of my efforts. I’m left to fend for myself.
I’m a flower trying to flourish while my body is in drought
Despite my longing to start the next chapter of my life, shed this old skin, and grow into something new, my body seems to have other plans. It feels as though I want one thing, while my body wants something else. I want to start my life, while it wants to find ways to slow it down.
I feel so beyond ready to move forward and become the next version of myself or flourish even more into whoever I am meant to be. But my body refuses to give me a break. I ask for a little bit of rain, but it continues to withhold it and demand more out of me. It takes and takes and takes, but never gives.
I feel entirely out of control
I often come from a place of curiosity when something goes wrong with my health, rather than a place of hatred. I’ll try my best to be kind to my body, pay attention to it, and listen to what it needs. I’ll drop everything and do what it asks. But just when it seems like I’ve got it all figured out, it switches up on me.
It feels like no matter how hard I try, there’s no getting through to it. Like no matter how patient and loving I am towards my own body, it refuses to let me help out. It doesn’t want me around. It would rather watch me suffer.
Self-love feels conditional
When I am trying everything in my power to help support my body only to have it backfire on me, it can make self-love feel conditional. I used to really struggle with my self-worth. Now I’m at a place where I love myself but hold so much hatred towards my body. It makes me feel like I’m allowed to love who I am but at the cost of my health—like it’s impossible to love both at the same time. I know this isn’t true, but it’s hard to feel otherwise when it’s all you’ve ever known.
I hope that someday, my body and I will be able to shake hands and exist peacefully with one another.
Have you ever had to take a leave of absence from work due to your symptoms?
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