The path to loving and accepting my body has been challenging to say the least. In the last year I have slowly but surely traveled towards seeing my body in a different light.
For most of my life, every time I saw my reflection I was filled with shame and disgust. I did not want a woman’s body, especially the attention I received from the opposite sex, specifically from the creeps.
You know who I’m talking about, who undress you with their eyes and leaving you feeling dirty and ashamed.
Through intense therapy, residential inpatient treatment and active participation in a 12-step fellowship I learned to love my body. But really, I had learned to love myself and in doing so loved my body.
The realization came to me one morning as I glimpsed myself in the mirror after getting out of the shower. Gone was the usual revulsion and disgust I typically feel when I see my naked body.
As early as 8 I remember looking at my thighs with disgust and wanting to slice of the fat areas. Sick I know, but for me, that’s what it was really like. Those were the warped ideas that ran through my head.
When I was younger I blamed my brothers for my body hate. They would pick on me. This is what brothers do. They would tell me I had “Thunder Thighs” and made sure to include sound effects to highlight their point.
Entering my teen years this body hatred escalated rapidly. I was not willing to acknowledge the dark place they came from. Sexual trauma had left its mark on my psyche.
I hated my body for the hourglass shape, and curves that meant I was a woman.
In my preteen years I was unprepared for the male attention my body attracted. I remember clearly the first time a man looked at me sexually.
I was 12 and walking down the street with my mom. I remember watching in disbelief as he walked into a lightpole. The way he followed every inch of my body excited and disgusted me at the same time. I went out of my way to ensure that I received in some form or another this validation from men.
That was the day I discovered for myself, what women have always known: our body’s are a tool which we may use to influence the opposite sex. I know you know what I mean by this. At some point as a woman we’ve used this to our advantage.
This knowledge and previous trauma fed my obsession of to control my body. Somehow I bought the idea that if I controlled my body, then I controlled my life.
At 14 I found Bulimia. It was the perfect solution for me. I was not at a place where I could starve myself, but I had no problem throwing up, so that is what I did. It got so bad that at the end of the year I was throwing up 15 times a day. Purging helped keep the demons that haunted me at bay. It allowed me to numb out.
Initially it was extremely effective at taking away the pain and keeping my secrets safely locked away. Whenever they came to the surface, I simply threw them up and flushed them away. With the push of a lever they disappeared. I had a solution that took away the emotions that I could not control. I spent the next 16 years struggling with both anorexia and bulimia.
Drugs, then alcohol, soon became weapons in the arsenal I used to fight my feelings. I was terrified to face them thinking that if I let them out they would consume me. Enter prescription drugs they quickly brought me to my knees. Specifically opiates, I can remember the very first one I took. Once I tasted the feeling of ecstasy I felt when taking them I knew the game was over.
I entered treatment broken and desperate. There was nothing left. Addiction had taken it all. Treatment gave me a new hope and slowly over the length of a year and a half it became brighter. I began the steps with a sponsor and started the process of making amends this was a freeing experience
Today, my body inspires me. I look at my body and instead of seeing all the imperfections, I see beauty. I see a body that has nurtured and carried two children. I see a woman’s body. I am no longer afraid of embracing my body. I have a body that is perfect in all its imperfections. The hourglass shape reflecting my transition from girl to woman. I no longer look at my body as a tool to be used to captivate the attention of opposite sex.
My body is sacred and is to be treated in a respectful and loving manner recovery has taught me how to do this. It taught me the importance of self-care and self-love. Recovery taught me how to accept my whole self; this means every part of who I am.
Rose Landes is passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.