Why We Don’t Stop Losing The Weight

I want to be able to look in the mirror in the morning and not see my frail, overweight body with its skin puffy. I want all of my physical problems to evaporate and my life-defining challenges to become less daunting and more enjoyable. In doing so, I will be less afraid of future challenges and more motivated in doing the things that are best for me. (Yes, I did just come up with that one.

As I write these words, we are still not at the end of the cycle of my journey of self-discovery and discovery of myself in relationships. I’m still lost in the woods, in a cold mountain cabin, or sitting in my house of mourning where some distant, yet ever present death is at war with my own mortality. But with the understanding that I can’t be completely free of what goes around, I am making some very significant, significant, and immediate changes in me about how I approach relationships.

For starters, in my past relationships, it wasn’t until the beginning of the relationship that I was able to truly accept myself as I truly was and the deep issues I was dealing with in those relationships. For a long, long time. I felt it necessary to hold on to my old selves, the ones who did not fit the standard of my new self; the one that I was learning about. 

What’s even more upsetting than the physical pain of my skin is the emotional pain it is causing in my relationships that I am not currently involved in. It takes a certain type of person to want to date someone that has a skin condition like mine because they want someone to feel safe when they were hurt, not threatened or attacked. It is not the same relationship. I have not dated a person that has been attacked, verbally or physically, by me in over three years. This is a hard concept to accept. I can’t imagine another person would date me. Even though I would be a great relationship to be part of, I refuse to date anyone who, in general, is afraid of me.

It is hard to explain to a person that you would be afraid to interact with them or hold onto them physically, but it’s a reality. This is why in my relationships, I will often be the first to break up with them if their behaviour becomes a problem. In my relationships that I am currently involved in, they tend to be more supportive of my condition than other relationships that I am part of. They realize that with my disease, being physically affectionate is not a viable or safe option for me. This is why I have not dated this year, although I would have liked to. I don’t have the energy.

But most importantly, I do not need to date someone with the skin condition that I have. 

I have found that I don’t ever really want to go back to the relationships that I had before my illness. They were fun and beautiful in so many ways, but I no longer needed that physical expression, which gave me more time with my family and friends. For the most part, I am able to accept that I have a body condition and it’s part of me now. It doesn’t define me or dictate my life, because it never did. But having said that, I’m learning that my condition is a part of what is going through my mind now more than ever. It doesn’t define me, but it is what drives me.

It gives me purpose, which is something I have lacked since my illness began. It gives me purpose that I may never understand, but it gives me strength when I need it. It provides me with a reason to stay in a relationship, and to get out once a month when I would rather be with my loved ones. It gives me the strength to be the person I want to be in the relationships that I do currently have. 

When I think of the last time I cried with joy, it was because I was able to be physical in the presence of my best friend.