Last Monday was a self care day. On a recommendation of a friend, I decided to go a reasonably priced Spa. I should probably have done more investigation but I did not. It was a last minute decision to take some time to myself with no animals needing me to pick up their poo, no kids fighting on the couch, and no staff people asking my opinion on one issue or another.
When I arrived at the Spa, severely over caffeinated at that, the bells went off. AH- this is a nude Spa. The kind where the genders are divided. I was handed a robe and a towel that would barely cover one of my thighs. As I entered the locker room, I quickly saw what I have rarely seen- naked bodies. Not in a lecherous way or a scientific way. I was seeing naked bodies in their natural habitat. Women of all ages were inside the place.
I was very nervous at first. I was raised in an almost puritanical setting. My parents NEVER discussed sex with me. In fact, I rarely saw my parents kiss. If it wasn’t for the fact my sister and I accidentally found condoms searching for spare change, I would assume they never had sex after we were born. My father nor my mother commented on the looks of anyone. The few random celebrities my mother would describe as attractive all turned out to be gay. She seemed to be attracted to an asexuality in her screen men. If my father ever commented on women, it was out of my presence.
Nudity was an entirely private matter. Changing clothes was done behind closed doors in your room. Growing up fat meant I wore clothes under my clothes so I wouldn’t have to change in front of anyone in gym class. There was also the matter of my outdated underwear my mother would select. I also received no guidance in the finer elements of shaving my legs or lady bits. I learned about sex from R rated movies on cable TV.
The only time in my adult life I was ever a “normal” weight was when I was hitting the stimulants and the heroin hard. It is hard to explain how eating issues and drug use went hand in hand for me. I had tried sobering up before and the bottomless pit of hunger would freak me out. I enjoyed boys with exposed collar bones. I liked being completely flat chested and slim. It became a sickness really. Although I wore multiple layers of clothes to hide it, showing myself that I could resist food and get thinner and thinner was my jam.
Then came jail. Jail is a fucking marathon of weight gain. Food is one of the only hobbies. Food means status. Food is the only thing that can fill that void that drugs used to fill. I would eat and eat until I could enjoy a good depression nap on my bunk. By the time I went to rehab, I had already gotten quiet chunky.
At first, this weight gain was validated by others. I finally had some “ass” Eventually, that wears off. I am having trouble fitting in my clothes. I hate the way I look. I feel like crap. It is the tail eating the dog.
The rest of this time off drugs has been cycles of feast and famine. I have never been able to say I feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m trying. There is nothing wrong with my body. There is nothing wrong with me. All bodies are different. If I would have seen a few, I would have realized that mine was normal and entirely ok. Why have I been forced to be so insecure for so long? I am not sure. I am glad I finally got the chance to SEE that I’m just fucking fine.