My body is trying to speak to me all of the time, but I ignore it.
I binge until I feel sick and then fast the next day to “make up for it.” I procrastinate going to the bathroom because I’m in the middle of something. I power through headaches and nausea and terrible boredom. I carry tension in various parts of my body with no release.
Because of fear, poor self-esteem and habits formed out of desperation as a child, I ignore my need to exercise. I don’t admit to being stressed even when it’s overwhelming. I stay guarded even though I know I have some inkling of how soothing love and personal contact could be. I swallow negative feelings and let them become a part of who I am.
I don’t listen to the still, small voice that’s trying to save me from myself.
My depression taught me a great deal about myself. But it is still speaking. So are the anhedonia and the binge eating. I have much to learn.
I try to be in complete control of myself and my immediate environment in order to create a safe space. I thought if I had near complete control over my body I would feel better. Sure it whined and complained that it wanted to eat or stop eating, lay down or get moving, that it was dehydrated or completely spent. But no, my mind was in charge and my body needed to fall in line.
There’s a bible verse that they used to say over and over during a church-led boot camp I was in years ago:
No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Cor. 9:27, NIV
Not only was the verse slightly out of context, but as quoted, the instructors didn’t take into account the fact that the most accomplished athletes eat to nourish their bodies, get regular massages, take rest days, manage their stress and guard their hearts and minds to stay in fighting mode.
As a highly sensitive person, it is even more imperative that I pay attention when my body is telling me it is struggling to go on.
To live my best life, I’ve got to make peace with my body. I’ve got to listen.
This is Part 1 in a series on listening to your body and learning its wisdom. Stay tuned for articles about Eating (Part 2), Stress (Part 3), Boredom (Part 4) and Exercise (Part 5) and what your body is trying to say and how to respond with compassion and self love.