Submitted by megan on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 22:31
It's normal to hate yourself every once in a while, isn't it? Everyone does, don't they?
Anyway, I think it's normal.
Maybe that's because I spent enough years hating myself so fiercely and pervasively that a few hours every now and again, feels, well, awful and sad, but also eminently manageable.
It's no surprise, either, that the self-hatred gets played out through my body. It's no secret that when women become enraged, ashamed, worried, guilty, they often don't push those emotions out into the world, but focus all that swirling insane metaphysical mess on the physical mess our culture tells us our bodies already are. The ant under the magnifying glass.
Because hating my body yesterday has little, maybe nothing, to do with how I look. A couple of weeks ago, I was pretty happy with my body. Perhaps not loving that a pair of pants I've had for four or five years - my baggy jeans - are now pretty tight, but okay with the general state of things.
Then the holidays.
Three days of shrinking myself smaller and smaller inside my skin, three days of sitting to make my joints and muscles stiff, a new year to point out how much I haven't gotten done, as well as frustration that I just can't buckle down; that I am seemingly unable write more than one non-blog related piece a year; of realizing that you know what, fuck, I don't want to be single, but fucking fuck, I become miserably clingy and needy when I'm coupled and so yes, I am just going to have to damn well get used to this uncomfortable internal in between push-pull frustration that means. I don't know. Probably something very meaningful. And single.
Then winter making it hard for me to push myself outside and into exercise. I worry a bit about it, the exercise, that my push is sometimes too hard. The amount I exercise could easily turn into yet another way to punish myself.
I watch that pretty closely, used to be careful to take at least a day or two off a week.
But over the past month, the day or two has turned into two or three, has turned into three or four. Has turned into nothing, last week. I haven't been out for another snowshoe, I haven't been out for a run.
It's brutal for me, missing that time outside, the moments of exhilaration. The black branches limned by an orange sunset down the icy runnel of Gilmour; the cove made by the evergreen branches on Queen Elizabeth, its snow cover sparkling down behind me when I tap the branches just above my head; or, when I'm lucky, the water, the water, and the thick wind off it.
Jokingly, a few weeks ago, I said to someone (Jennifer? Shelley? Paul?) that running was my medicine. Except I wasn't really joking. Going from 4 or 5 days of exercise a week to none gives me a panicky off-my-meds feeling.
Not too surprising, since it's pretty well known that exercise helps your brain as well as your body. They don't know how, exactly, but I don't really care exactly, so long as I don't look down at my stomach and feel like clawing four red streaks across it.
But blah blah blah.
I'm feeling better. Mostly. I still wish my old jeans fit.
But I had a good yoga class this morning, followed by a delicious lunch with Shelley, who then helped me buy a scandalously slinky dress to wear tomorrow night. Then a fast cold invigorating walk home, a low waning moon cupping the darkening sky, some bright planet, unblinking, to its left and up. That cleared out a lot of the cobwebs. Then pad thai and beer with Jennifer and Shy Dog.
Now home, in my lovely home, my cold feet tucked under me, half way through a pot of tea. Joie de vivre, indeed.