Saturday, 26 January 2019

I am my scars


Dear Blog Readers, 

Today I am sharing my poem about scars and how I have chosen to embrace them. 

We would love to hear your story. 

Please comment below or email Kmccarthy@sheenasplace.org


Take care of yourself, and remember to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. 


Your blog moderator, 

Kira


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I Am My Scars


I used to hate my scars. I found them embarrassing because they are blemishes on my skin, because they draw attention to specific parts of my body, because they lead to questions about what happened, and because they force me to admit that I am imperfect in appearance and in action. 


Today I looked at my thigh. I saw the wrinkled skin that looks like a fat slug. I remembered all the ways I used to try to hide it. And I suddenly realized that my scars are my story. They are like tattoos; permanent reminders and celebrations of where I’ve been and what has made me who I am. My scars are my life story told in flesh. 


I am my scars. 


I am the cartwheels on a shard of broken class in Newfoundland. The sharp knife in the dish water. The shattering glass of the screen door. The scissors I used to cut leather. The jagged metal on the hearth. I am the small lines on my elbows and knees from playing in the woods. I am clam shell cuts and fish hook pokes. I am calluses from crocheting, knitting, constant pencil holding, bare feet summer hikes, Birkenstocks, and flip flops. I am my finger tips on my first steel string guitar. I am sharp pebbles in red jelly shoes. 


I am I-don’t-know-what-happened, and where-did-that-come-from. I am falling off bikes, slipping in ballet slippers, leaping before looking, tree climbing, and unprepared balancing acts. I am chickenpox and everyone else has it too so we have to go to school anyway. I am surgery and too many IVs. 


I am tears and snot and pain. I am joy and laughter til my belly hurts. I am adventures and risks. I am warning tales and funny stories. 


This body has carried me and allowed me to do, to play, to create, to try, to feel pleasure, to love. This body is marked by moments in life that shaped me. It tells the stories I’ve tried to hide, the stories of things I’ve forgotten, and the stories shared over endless cups of tea. 


This body has been tortured by me and yet it is still here. Still waiting to be loved. Still waiting to be taken care of. Still willing to let me keep trying. To keep living. 


This body is how I came to be, where I have been, who I am now, and where I am going. This body is my home. This skin is my story. These scars are me. Unapologetic, imperfect, blemished, me. 


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Work published on this blog is property of the writer/artist. Content on this blog is edited and approved by the moderator. Sheena’s Place does not specifically endorse any advice or content. This blog is not a substitute for medical advice. Please see your family doctor if you have concerns about yourself or your recovery. No one can recover alone.


If you would like to share your story, or other writings or art, please email your submission to Kmccarthy@sheenasplace.org


If you or someone in your life is struggling with an Eating Disorder, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) at http://nedic.ca/ 


If you would like more information or to register for groups, visit Sheena's Place website at www.sheenasplace.org


If you are in a country other than Canada, please google your local or National Eating Disorders Centre.


Wednesday, 2 January 2019

In the Bedroom

Dear Blog Readers, 

Welcome to 2019. This is a year for the lesser explored aspects of Eating Disorders to be shared. This is the time to shatter the myths and stereotypes and give voice to topics and issues that are at the heart of the illness, are difficult to talk about, or that you’ve never even thought of. We will enter into taboo areas of our lives, while still staying within the safe space guidelines. I never thought this blog would be easy, or comfortable, or tidy. And yet I never could have imagined the courage and vulnerability of this community and the willingness to share the deepest parts of ourselves. 

This week Fred writes about the fear of body judgement in a sexual encounter. Upon reading that sentence I can picture the faces of readers cringing. This piece is not about sex. It is about how our own fear of judgement interferes with our ability to be truly open with others; our ability to give of ourselves freely. 

Take care of yourself and remember to nourish your body, mind, and spirit. 

Kira 
Your blog Moderator 

ps. I apologize to Fred for not posting this sooner. I humbly admit that I thought I had already posted it, and that instead it fell through the cracks. I’m sorry. 

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In the Bedroom


From an eating disorder perspective, I suffer from an eating disorder. Body image is a big one for me. In the bedroom, I struggle — against myself, another man. I am vulnerable in the bedroom. I can’t fully take off my clothes. I can’t be completely naked.

I hate my body.


I don’t like the way my body looks. I go around this issue by never removing my top. In the bedroom, with sex in mind, I feel helpless if I take off my top. I’m scared of what the other guy will think of me. Without my clothes, I look like an ogre.


Removing my pants or shorts and then quickly adjusting my underwear is what I do to stay safe. In the bedroom, thinking of sex, I have rules. These are clothes rules.


The textile relationship described here is tied to my eating disorder. There is something about eating disorders that ties them to body image. Not all eating disorders are the same. For me, body image in the bedroom, thinking through and having sex, is scary. My eating disorder and all of its symptoms and body image revolve around men and how they see me. I am tender around men.


Letting go of my tops, or my socks, underwear, and so on, is something I do at the beach. At and around the beach, I accept that I am hairy and different.

My goal this summer is to imagine the beach and surroundings in my bedroom. I’m tired of hiding. I want to let go of my fear of being naked, just like I remove most of my clothes at the beach.



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Work published on this blog is property of the writer/artist. Content on this blog is edited and approved by the moderator. Sheena’s Place does not specifically endorse any advice or content. This blog is not a substitute for medical advice. Please see your family doctor if you have concerns about yourself or your recovery. No one can recover alone.

If you would like to share your story, or other writings or art, please email your submission to Kmccarthy@sheenasplace.org

If you or someone in your life is struggling with an Eating Disorder, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) at http://nedic.ca/ 

If you would like more information or to register for groups, visit Sheena's Place website at www.sheenasplace.org

If you are in a country other than Canada, please google your local or National Eating Disorders Centre.

The Birdcage