In Gratitude and Hope: A Letter to my Heart

Dear Heart,

First, mad props to you for being perhaps the only part of my body that has worked solidly for the past 25 years. I mean really. Last week the ER nurse said my EKG was "better than normal" so keep on keeping on. No complaints in the blood pumping arena. You rock.

Second, I have to extend a huge thank you for the major leaps and bounds by which you, and I suppose I, have grown in the past few years. Remember a few years ago, back in say, 2004, when we didn't believe in love? I remember thinking it was just something that you were obligated to say by a certain stage in a relationship. To me, it wasn't an emotion, it was a pretend state of being. It was how you kept a relationship together, by saying those 3 little words.

And then that cold June night when yet another body part (ankle, thankyouverymuch) fell apart (this time at least it was solidly someone else's fault...) you did something completely foreign. You opened yourself up and let that silly boy in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt in. You let him become something special, and you let real emotions, not pretend states of being, emerge.

It wasn't love at first site, or even love at first conversation, but soon it was love and it was powerful. I remember being scared because my heart was truly in that relationship unlike it had ever been before, and the stakes were simply too high. I ended every single argument, no matter how insignificant, with a question: "are you going to break up with me?" because I knew that both you, and I, could not have overcome that hurt.

And now almost 5 years later, that love continues to grow and flourish in entirely new ways, in a marriage. Yes, it needs care and attention like nothing I could've ever imagined (side note: who forgot to mention that marriage is like having a toddler? Seriously, with the need for constant attention and effort), however it's worth more to me than anything else. It has given rise to completely new feelings, highs and lows.

It has made me afraid to travel without my husband or be apart from him for any long span of time, because I feel like our hearts are so intertwined that if anything happened, you'd simply shatter into a billion worthless pieces without him. This love you've let me feel, you've allowed into my life, and it has completed me.

Now, now that you've gotten your ego patted heart, I have a simple request.

Since October, as I'm sure you're aware, about 10 pounds have taken up residence on our body. It's not anyone's fault but mine, but no one is having a more difficult time with it than me. Because now when I look in the mirror, I can't seem to love myself.

Sometime in the last 5 months and 10 pounds, you've lost the ability to allow love for what looks back at you in the mirror, and it is devastating. I want nothing more than to rediscover a love for myself, and not a conditional love, because we've done the years of mental anguish over being overweight. I need to rediscover a love for myself that doesn't rely on what the image in the mirror is, but rather on who that person is and other non-visual cues.

I simply want to find the same love for myself that I have for my husband (or even for my cat for that matter). I don't know where it went, but it's time for it return.

I can't begin to list all the ways that you have made my life worth living again in these last 5 years. I truly can't. But heart, we both know that even the greatest love cannot overcome a lack of love for oneself and I would be remiss if I didn't beg for help. I want to love me and I want to feel that others do as well. Even if my jeans are too tight and I can't even fit into my workout clothes (oh the irony).

I look forward to such a great future, but only as long as you continue to do your job, and I continue to try to do mine too. Without you, in so many ways, I'd be nothing. And that's not something I'll soon forget.

 

With all the love you'll allow me to give,

Katie

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