Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fasting from Self-loathing

When I walked into therapy almost three years ago, I was nervous, defiant, ready to run.  I was there because I knew that I was drowning in my attempts to heal myself.  I needed help, badly but help had not actually helped in the past.  That "help" had heaped more shame, judgement and damage on my shattered self.  The Spirit in me though wouldn't let it go.  I committed to doing one intake, one sit down to see if one therapist was competent and trustworthy.  That was all I had in me.  I couldn't risk bigger than that and I fully expected to be disappointed.  That was the beginning of a beautiful therapeutic relationship, one that started with the question what do you want to get out of this?

This week in looking at self-loathing, I'm reminded of that question and my answer.  Three years ago I knew that I couldn't continue to survive my own self-hatred.  Even though I was no longer cutting and planning my own death, the thoughts were there and the feelings that had driven those behaviours in the past continued to build in intensity, only now, they had no outlet. I thought I was going to explode.

I hated my body.  It was too fat, too pale. too freckled, too scarred, too weak, too female. I hated myself.  I was too needy, too broken, too controlling, too angry, too desperate. I had a lifetime of pain that told me that how I saw myself was true. All these messages about my worth were carved into my heart by the abuses that others had heaped on me.

That question though, that question opened the door for hope to peek in. My goal then is the same as it is learn to see myself as God sees me.  One day I will write the posts that declare that to the very depth of my being, I know that I am His and He sees me as I am - Beautiful and Beloved.

That day may not be today, yet this week has been a week of looking back to see how far I've already journeyed.  There has been a sweet sense of being able to breathe a little easier, of finding my second wind. I find myself laughing.  March has always been the culmination of what I had nicknamed my "suicide season". Historically this has been the month where there was no logical thought left and the screaming, howling pain had erased everything from my hearing but the relentless drumbeat of despair.  This March I've seen glimmers of hope.  The drums have been quiet.  The pain is there still.  There's no magic cure for that.

This year though, I've seen the beginning of "become" turn what I thought would always be true on it's head. As I sit with this week's fast, I feel rest instead of struggle. There is more work to be done, and I am already taking the steps laid out in front of me. The steps that bring me out of hatred and despair. Today I will own myself, my body and agree with my Creator that I am very, very beautiful, trusting that He sees beyond the limits of my own vision.

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