living in a body

distorted image“It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out.”  – David Foster Wallace

Our theme this past week was ‘living in the body’ based on Joyce Sutphen’s poem of the same name. The first line reads, “Body is something you need in order to stay/on this planet and you only get one…”

I challenged the women present to ask themselves, “Which version of yourself do you see when you look in the mirror?” This is a question that few of us on the outside have the time to stop and consider on a daily basis. But the women present within the circle pointed out that they have nothing but time to contemplate just such ideas. As we continued to talk about the different ways we tend to view our relationship to our bodies, a theme emerged: the image we hold of ourselves in our unedited mind’s eye vs. the image others see.

When I watched E.B. read her words aloud, I did not see the person she described in front of me…..

My body of armor is what I see to hide all the scars of my broken past. In the mirror I see long smooth legs, soft caramel skin without track marks or bruises, perfectly straight eyes – that haven’t been touched by a surgeons hands. Strong healthy arms that can not only hold myself, but others as well, nails show color of different shades, not bleeding broken skin from my anxiety within – This vision I long to see is who I used to be. But I let drugs and negativity get the best of me. I cannot pull the wool over my eyes and pretend to be something I’m not.

I have these scars to remind me of who I am and the journey I’ve been on.

I see me. I am real.


. . . and you?

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