What do you do when the mirror doesn’t reflect the image right or when there is no way to tell if it’s the mirror or your mind distorting reality? I grew scared of myself. What about you?
The Realization Before Your Eyes
When I realized my body changed in the last year at an alarming rate, I panicked. The vicious circle I live in is panicking ticks my cardiophobia, my anxiety level, my destructive voice in my head, and my IBS. I need bravery to stop my shame.
For more than a week, I had to remain calm and mostly in bed. It is hard for someone like my who’s brain constantly runs a hundred miles an hour. The more I stay in bed, the less activity I do, and round and round we go.
Cardiophobia is the fear of hearing one’s heartbeat in any way, shape, or form. This means I must do low-impact activities. Lucky for me, I absolutely adore walking with my dog! The bad news is, as of recent, my dog—and writing assistant—as a fourteen-year-old dog is now officially too old for physical activity.
Carey is an adorable and very affectionate, and loving dog. Ever since an adult, Carey remained around the same weight and level of energy. To this day, she runs in the house, jumps, and turns in circles. We used to walk twice a day for forty-five minutes each time, and on Saturdays, there would be an extra two-hour walk at least.
Changing The Routine
As a clinical OCD person, changes in my daily activities make me nauseous. It means that going for walks without my dog is inconceivable. For the last year, I have stopped going for walks. You can imagine the shock my body took.
Living with IBS creates this constant need for movement to make digestion tolerable. However, my dog—my soulmate, my baby, my best friend, and everything—not capable of walks anymore, put me on a dreadful road to pain.
The only consolation I got was to buy a stepping machine, a Frozen health watch, and relearn to eat right. Well, it turns out that it is way easier said than done. Every time I would walk toward the stepping machine, either something came up, or it’d be a staring contest.
You say I’m lazy? No, the staring contest was the visualization of every single thing that could go wrong. That’s not laziness. That’s OCD. I would imagine myself twisting my ankle due to my double-jointed congenital problem. I would see myself slipping and fracturing my skull, opening it and losing blood until my impending death.
Your Fate Is Inside You
But, this new dream of moving to either Norway or a Quebec island turned into a goal. To live in either of those places, being in good shape, is of great help. I convinced myself that I could do it. My fate is inside me. I just have to be brave enough to see it, right?
Yet, again something changed in my life. I realized I was way more productive at night than during the day. I realized I had to train my body to sleep during the day and work at night. But most people laugh at the idea. It makes me reconsider how awkward and inconvenient my body is.
For that reason, my sleep and waking hours are all over the place. This situation causes a domino effect because I am hungry at strange hours and have a greater or lower appetite. I am inconsistent in everything. I have cibophobia, the fear of eating, and it grows everyday. I am losing control over my body and my mind. The body shaming surfaces and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.
My fate is in the hands of the daylight people and not part of my land, soul, and head. I want one chance to change my fate. I want to return to “the” me I know I can be because I was once, and it wasn’t long ago.
Chase The Wind Touch The Sky
When I decided to change my fate, I ordered three Disney Princess / Disney Villain cookbooks. Yes, you read right. Those cookbooks are for adults and are pretty tasty. But why did I go with Disney Princesses Cookbooks instead of the typical diet ones? Because it never worked with me. That is as simple as that.
I decided to take care of myself and spoil myself a little. I did it before the end result because I thought it stupid to wait to reward ourselves when who’s to say how long I have left? Morbid? No, because I want to make the most of the time I am given.
Disney Princesses, especially Merida, is a passion of mine. She inspires me, and I relate to her to a quite profound degree. I am not as vibrant a redhead as she is—she literally has the head of hair I’ve always dreamed of possessing but never had. I am a brownish redhead with green eyes and a scary white skin complexion. I had people ask me if I was a low degree of albino!
I might not be Scottish—according to 23andMe, I’m 89% French, but her personality and mine are identical. We also both have a crazy addiction to apples! I cannot say how much I love the Brave movie because there are no words to express it. I collect everything Brave, and due to my OCD, it’s out of control.
She Reminds Me Of My Goal
I don’t want to be anyone else than me. But I do want to be healthy and happy. I want to do my podcast and write my novel and feel light and free. I don’t want this desire to feed my anxiety. I can’t crawl next to the toilet due to my IBS anymore.
I can be extreme in some of my ways to take care of myself, but it’s not to hurt me, but because it works. I learned how my body responds to specific triggers. IBS is vicious and treacherous. One day one nutrient is good, and the other, you’re on your knees, hoping your stomach won’t stretch and tear.
I am someone who eats very little, next to nothing at all. I must drink a lot of high-protein beverages. I can’t drink caffeine or decaf, for that matter, as it’s not suitable for my digestive system. There are so many restrictions that I gave up once or twice before, but I can’t keep ignoring the pain anymore.
If I want to be the live French Canadian “Merida,” I must keep my mind focused. I surround myself with what I love the most, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll find the bravery to walk the first steps on my machine.
All Those Drawings Of Me
I record my hair color, style, and looks over the months with drawings I make. I inspire myself after Disney princesses and give them my looks. They also help remind me what I am, what I could be.
I am not walking out of the house anymore because I am afraid. The fear people look at me and judge me is so strong it’s paralyzing. Thinking of stepping outside has made me nauseous. I can’t look at myself in the mirror without wanting to cut myself everywhere. It hurts.
I don’t see myself anymore. I am not myself. I shut down over a year ago, and nothing seems strong enough to have me move. But I am starting today because it’s agony to wait. I want to tell the world I am brave. I found my fate.
Will you go on the journey with me?