I flew home from Florida today. I am feeling pretty beat up. I had an amazing time and regret nothing, but I need to recover in a serious way. I need rest and IV fluids and soft, safe foods. Probably for several days.
My immediate reaction to this thought to be repulsed. I don’t like the idea of spending days in bed, even if I need it. I make so many judgments about my body and what I think it should do. I sleep too much. I don’t sleep enough. I need to exercise more. I need to do yoga every day. Every day, all day, I judge my body and its abilities, a ceaseless undercurrent to my more complicated feelings about being sick.
Why do I do that? Why do I compare every day to the day before? Why does every aspect of my life have to be measured against its previous self?
I judge my body so harshly sometimes. It is too weak. It is too fat. It is incapable of adapting to change. But sometimes I am struck by how utterly amazing my body is in the larger context of my life. It may react while flying through the air at hundreds of miles an hour but it let me ride roller coasters a few days ago. And really, that is amazing.
It is astounding to think how much I could achieve if I just stopped comparing my body to what I think it should be. Because the fact is that every time my body overcomes a reaction or a trigger, it is the result of the convergence of thousands of complex reactions executed in the name of self preservation. It is a miracle it can still recover after all this time.
I am alive. I live in this body. It might fight me, but I still live here. For the first time in a long time, it doesn’t feel like my body is filled up with nausea and bleeding and pain. It feels like it’s filled up with me.