Friday, 26 October 2012

I heart my body

Loving my body has been an ongoing struggle , my whole life I've been aware that I'm different from other girls.

Especially, once I was old enough to know how cruel people can be.
I was bullied and teased at school for my appearance. Not mercilessly but enough to make school unpleasant.

I was teased because I have a genetic disease that causes skin pigmentation /birth marks - cafe au lait spots (and lumps and bumps that became more apparent in adulthood).

Google 'Neurofibromatosis' images and you will see why I'm not going to be sharing my body here.I now have thousands of small lumps mostly on my torso. They cause me no worries except cosmetic. I don't want to talk about the tumours. I was only diagnosed at 22yrs old. I am thankful I can cover up most my birthmarks and lumps.

I have considered showing my mastectomy scars (with lots of filters) but I don't have access to do it right now on my iPad. (I am with my sick boy in hospital and thankfully he is much better today)

I learnt from an early age that beauty is skin deep.
I chose not to be a slave to it.
Instead I've sailed through the storms of life , adjusting my sails , not caring what people thought. They can like me or not. I love Internet because it cares not about the faces behind the urls.

I've never liked my photo taken.Mostly my eyes bother me because I've got a slight turn due to a childhood injury at school. I have a few small facial lumps now and lots of wrinkles...meh' we are all going to end up with them.

I've never bothered much about makeup & hairstyles , shopping for shoes or even keeping up with the latest fashion. They are just so far off my radar of things important to me. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to look attractive and enhance your best features.

Recently I've had significant physical challenges to deal with. I've endured very radical changes to my body. Choosing to undergo a double mastectomy when faced with breast cancer , losing one boob was without question the only choice I had , the other was extra insurance and peace of mind.

Chopping off my long locks of hair that I once loved , it was going to fall out anyway, was hard but not too distressing. My hair will grow back.

I embrace a renewed sense of 'immense' gratitude for my body and the scars that cross my chest. I'm trying to love my body by nurturing it with healthy food, rest and exercise.

I feel comfortable in my decision not to undergo breast reconstruction, not to mention saving my family the out of pocket costs of $10,000 upwards.Truth be told , I'm just not willing to endure the pain of it . Implants don't last forever either.

While there is no gain in physical sexual sensations , there are of course recognised gains in self esteem and sense of sexuality .

I appreciate not all women feel this way. It just doesn't worry me. I don't grieve the loss of my breasts. I am more concerned with living and getting through chemo and on with my life.

Right now, I look like a chemo patient and I'm accepting this season in my life . I look haggard and aged beyond my 46yrs. I don't feel too sick most of the time.

My body though it outwardly represents a picture of the physical me - it does not show who I am on the inside. It can't show my faith,  what's on my heart , in my mind and what drives me to keep going. These are the things I heart body for.

I am most grateful for a body that despite some challenges allows me to live in the fullness of life - to experience and give love, to think and to feel, to see, hear (with my hearing aid) , taste, touch , smell , run and dance very uncoordinated in the rain if I choose to.

I am rich in this body of mine.

What do you love most about yourself ?