A few years back, I got very sick and had to have emergency surgery, and I remeber being very angry with my body for making me sick.
It took me a little bit of time to realize that I'd really no call to be angry and it is in my bodies nature to expire under stress, to wear out in places, to get sick and to be imperfect just as much as it is in its nature to be strong and capable, to be "perfect" in its imperfection, to enable me to do things, and so forth.
Sometimes, we need a little reminding that our bodies not only aren't our enemies, they are an integrated part of ourselves, and if we start to see our bodies as objects, or as separate from our minds or selves, we can create a LOT of problems. We can even make ourselves very ill.
So, your body: is it your friend or your foe? Are there obstancles which stand in the way of your accepting it as it is at any given moment, with honoring it?
If so, who puts up those obstancles, and how can you get rid of them?
When I'm sick, I also feel a sort of ambivalence toward my body. When it's injured, or it makes me hurt, I don't like it. It makes me wonder how people with long term serious health problems feel. It must be hard to love your body when it causes you so much pain.
When I'm hung up on body image issues, it can really help to think "wait a sec, my body's doing a great job. It does what I tell it to, and doesn't get sick too much. Isn't that more important than if I look like [lovely celebrity here]?"
So anyway, I guess I'd have to say my body's my friend. I think it's really easy to separate your mind from your body, especially when you're being critical of it (ugh, look at that awful object in the mirror. What can I do to it?) But like I said, realizing you have control over it, and just having fun with it (dancing could be one way) can make you feel more at home in yourself.
The thing is, I just have a cold. But in my opinion, I'd rather have something like strep throat or a fever, where I feel really sick and just sleep for hours in my pjs watching movies and eating soup. With a cold, it lasts for over a week, and it's such an inconvenience. My nose is stuffed and running, I can't breathe out of it. Because of it being stuffed, food tastes weird and I don't wanna eat cuz my head feels funny. Since my nose is running, I look like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It hurts too. And I've had a sore throat for 4 days now, which makes eating interesting. My cough annoys me, and forget sleeping.
Sorry about whining, it's just that right now, I hate my body! I'm mad at it for not being able to fight off the cold (that my mother gave me). I take my vitamins, when my throat was sore I sucked on Zinc thingies from the health store, I also drank lots of juice when I felt it comming on. Usually, these things work. But not this time. The thing that I'm most annoyed with though, is that it's Spring Break, and I always get sick either on vacation or a weekend.
------------------ "Why do the good girls always want the bad boys?"
Posts: 70 | From: a boring life in a boring town with the same old crowd | Registered: Aug 2000
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My body is both friend and foe. 2 years ago i had shoulder surgery baecause i fell off of my horse. in the last 3 years, I've been to 5 different docs, 6 physical therapist, and have taken more advil than most people do in a life time. After all this, I still have shoulder problems. Writing for to long agrivates it, as does typing. There are days when I can't get my arm above my shoulder. But I'm used to it. I no longer have body image problems, so my body is Friend in that sense. So I basically consider my body friend, with advil.
Posts: 10 | From: US | Registered: Apr 2001
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I must say that it is definitely my foe in that it is something to be fought. I don't literally wage war on my body (though I have, but that is another story entire), but when every other day in gymnastics I have to make it do what it says it doesn't want to do a battle is taking place. For example:
Me: No! I don't want my leg to go like that. My body: Too bad! Me: Like this. (I get force my leg to do the right thing) My body: No, I don't like it like that (forces it back where it would rather be)
This is all very stressful and you should see what happens when my body wins--angry coaches, grumpy parents, frustrated me. My family is not a pretty thing after a bad gymnastics workout so the battle wages on. Oh well, such is my life.
Posts: 356 | From: Phoenix--name that plurally | Registered: Dec 2000
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My body is generally my enemy because I get ill practically all the time. Not seriously ill but I get every cold, flu or throat infection that's floating around the country. So it makes me mad that I can't be like my friends who have never had a day off school in their lives and never even need a paracetamol. When I was 13 I had post-viral fatigue syndrome for about a year. Damn that was hard. I felt like cwap and I couldn't do anything for 12 whole months. i really hated my body then. Grrr
Posts: 394 | From: Manchester, Lancashire, England | Registered: Dec 2000
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My body is my friend these days, at least most of the time. I've started to see it as the "vessel that carries my soul" (partly thanks to body positive vibes from ST and reading Hanne's signature a few hundred times) and it's been (apart from a few things) a good, reliable vessel for the last 22 years. It carries my personality around, it can do lots of cool things, it feels good, it's reasonably pretty. In all, it's a pretty damn cool thing - such a complicated machine! - and I'm happy that it's been working so well.
It's my duty to nurture my bod well, excercise it and get it some rest, and my bod lets me know pretty quickly when I've been treating it like crap.
I'm not quite sure whether I'd still see my bod as my friend if I suddenly got a terminal illness...I think (or I hope) I would manage to see the illness as the foe, and not my body itself. I think one point when my relationship with my bod might get troubeling might be when it doesn't do what I want it to do: a disorder I have makes it more difficult to get pregnant, and I wonder what I will do if that won't work the way I want it to work. I definitely hope I won't be so focused on having biological children that I'll torture my bod with hormones to the max just to get pregnant. But well, it'll be a while till then. So at the mo, my body is my friend. Even though I still have the odd bad-body day.
I have systemic lupus and in the past 5 years of having it, it has really given me a lot of low self-esteem as far as my body goes. For those who aren't farmiliar with lupus some of the symptoms I get from it are, arthritis, bruising (because of the medication), low immune system which causes me to get sick more often, rashes, can't go out in the sun or I have a flare up (meaning I run a fever and get very tired), canker sores, I even had a miscarriage a few years back because of autoantiobodies in my blood, and getting pregnant is harder, and for anyone who's ever tried to get pregnant and had it not happen....they know how depressing that is.
It's caused me to get angry with my body. I eat three balanced meals a day, take vitamins, exercise, and get lots of sleep...but I still get sick. But I have been better at noticing when I'm gonna have a flare up and I know how to prepare and deal with it. For instance, don't plan too many activities when I feel a flare up coming on, instead rest. I'd like to think of me and my body as a team. And if I take care of it as best I can and "baby" it when my immune system is down, then my body will give me it's best. I think me and my body are bonding now!
I've never had any serious health problems at all, and my body and I have always gotten along famously. The only time we've been seriously at odds was the first time I decided to get drunk, to see what it was like. I was pretty neutral about the experience, but the betrayel vibes I was getting from the rest of my system ("WHY are you giving us poison? What happened to the organic strawberries?") was very disconcerting. Same kind of thing if I drink caffeine and/or stay up all night for something dumb (like a school project I should have finished earlier)... I end up feeling bad, 'cause my body's like, "What are you doing? I thought we were friends."
Usually we are. We dance and drink hot chocolate and garden and curl up in bed. And I not only like my body, I trust it. I love the fact that I *know* that my feet can take me home if I end up 10 miles away without transportation. I like the fact that my body tells me when I'm at risk for getting pregnant and when I'm about to get sick and when I'm hungry and when I'm sleepy. I wish it would remind me about being thirsty more often, but I guess I have to take responsibility for some things myself.
Interesting question. When I think of my body in global sense it is my friend. It allows me to expereince so much of the world. I am able to be quite active and it is not too challenging.
When I think of it in terms of areas or body parts there are some that I consider foes. My lungs aren't great. This is due to allergies. I have difficulty breathing if I am around certain animals or cigarette smoke. I also react when I exercise in the cold or when I swim. I am working on it because I find there are ways for me to enjoy these activities if I concentrate on my breathing and pace myself.
As for the cigarette smoke, I do my best to avoid it.
------------------ Louise Lalonde -Scarleteen Sexpert & Volunteer du Jour
"Glad to have a friend like you, And glad to just be me" -Carol Hall
To qoute an extremely funny e-mail forward I once recieved - "Last night when I asked my body if it would like some ice cream, it responded happily. But this morning, when I asked my body if it would like to attend the 6:00 AM aerobic class, it loudly replied 'Do it and die, witch'"
------------------ These tears on my face/Are for you/I wish that I could hold you/Touch you, feel you/My heart is bleeding/Can't you see/I wish that you could hold me/Touch me, feel me
[This message has been edited by ~*StarGazer*~ (edited 04-14-2001).]
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