Gratitude covers a Multitude

First. Thank you. Yes, YOU. Thank you for all your kind comments, amazing encouragement, thoughtful and supportive emails, and phone calls. I read them all, multiple times. I'm probably not finished rereading them, either, to tell you the truth.

Second. The previous post was a bit dark; it was admittedly rushed and feverish and severely unedited in every sense of the word. This post is also being hurried and largely remains true to its first draft aside from spelling errors, which drive me berserk.

I just want to say that for all the self-loathing I gave voice to, in equal measure there exists some sense of appreciation and gratitude for what I DO have. And I'd like to talk about those things for a moment, for the sake of balance.

There are several things I currently appreciate about my body. I have made peace with my face, except for the current double-side face that occurs, but that can easily be taken care of with a little exercise and a few less donuts. I like that one of my eyebrows makes its own decisions and follows its own will, especially when being photographed. I like the shape of my lips and the color of my eyes. Currently, I am admiring the way small tufts of new hair are growing back in after all my after-Jude hair loss. They are spiky, all right around my hairline, and many of them are glowing. Yep, that's right, my new hair is coming in grey and I. don't. mind. In fact, I kind of like it. I found my first grey hairs a few months after Jude was born and they don't bother me. I'm aging! I'm living life! I'm moving forward no matter how much I feel things are all backwards for me. So grey hair is a positive sign at the moment.

I like my wrists and ankles because they do not get fat. I like that my boobs have swollen beyond all reason to a size they will probably never recover from in order to nourish my child. I am proud of my strong legs that carried me and Jude around for 9 months and that still support us, just in a slightly different configuration. I like my rib cage, its size, the fact that it remains the same size no matter how much I try to hide it with layers of donuts and coffee. It gives me hope. I have a beautiful underneath. I just have to uncover it.

I enjoy my job these days. I have liked getting to know my students, seeing their progress, and having fun with them. I am completely in love with coming home from work these days, to a Jude who couldn't be more thrilled to see me. I love figuring out how to fit in a bit of reading every day, during naptimes (which are growing shorter and shorter. What is that about? Does anyone else have a 7 month old child who naps for like 20 minutes and then is back up and at 'em for the next 5 hours?), and after Jude goes to bed. I am no longer severely sleep-deprived as Jude sleeps through the night, with usually only one sleep-feeding. I am BEYOND DELIGHTED to still be mainly breast feeding my child. I'm so happy every time he refuses a bottle of supplementary formula while I'm at work and waits to nurse until I get home. I'm also so happy to feed him fresh, homemade baby food. He is so adorable opening his little birdy mouth and slurping up whatever veggie mush we've come up with that week.

In short, I could go on. Because there are so many good things in my life currently. But I'm so BIG, it's easy to lose sight of the little things, you know? Sometimes my body outweighs my brain. Ha. Okay, my body always "outweighs" my brain, among other things. I'm making small efforts to get back in shape. And hopefully those small efforts will turn into giant leaping strides towards feeling lighter and more free. That's the thing I dislike most- the feeling that I'm trapped inside this huge sandbag of a body. There is a woman inside me who might even give a second thought to the clothes she put on if she could just get to where buying clothes wasn't a reminder of everything she's doing wrong.

Anyway, thank you all for being here. For waiting out my long silences, pauses. For telling the truth. And for loving me anyway. My life would be worth so much less if you were subtracted from it. Honestly, sincerely, my gratitude is covering a multitude of insecurities and discontent. It also covers you. Can you feel it?
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