The question I asked to my anorexic patient.
In my clinical work, sometimes I get to meet with girls, mostly, that struggle with body-related issues and eating disorders. One of the clients that touched my heart the most, is a delightful delicate soul, who I worked with over the course of a couple of years. I will not give way any details of her, of course, so that her privacy is fully respected. But I will say that, one day, when she was in remission from her symptoms, and starting to do much better, I asked a question. I had, at that time, started to work with a much younger, and more compromised girl, who was sadly starving herself to death. I wanted to know if she had one message, one message only, for this younger girl. She did not hesitate a second. She said: "I have done so much therapy, so much. Heard many suggestions. Followed many approaches, therapies, interventions. One message only: be kinder to yourself. That simple."
The era of selfies and narcissism.
"That simple", and yet what we are all observing is such a steep increase of preoccupation around bodies, appearance, looks. I will avoid here the rant against the social medias and the age of selfies, and yet we all sense it. If internet has brought so much access to knowledge and new connections, also it daily exposes us to comparison to others and to ideal images of self.
I am not over-simplifying the roots of eating disorders, which are complex and very delicate conditions and yet. Yet, there is so much pressure.
Growing comfortable with one's own body.
I don't like this pressure. There. I have said it. I don't like young girls to be exposed to it. And I don't like women to be exposed to it. Cause there is also another demographic who is exposed to that pressure. My cohort. Women in their forties. Women who are aging, who start to see the effects of gravity on their bodies. Boobs. Thighs. Eye lids. Yes, gravity weighs my dears. What will you do about it? Botox? Ialuronic? Surgery?
Why do we always hear about anti-aging and rarely about pro-aging? Aging wisely, aging beautifully, aging gracefully? Why is aging a shame? a curse? and not a reason of pride instead? a measure of how we have laughed, or cried, for that matter?
Why do we fight the body with the next 30 days challenge instead of inviting it to a 30 days honeymoon?
I chose to participate to a project by Body Thoughts first, and then to "Body Truths", a collaboration between @body.thoughts and @deathtostock created by @alexamazzarello, @elunvrsl, and @daveblogtues." because I wanted to come out of my own closet of aging well. I wanted to take the (small) risk of showing my wrinkles, my aging hands, my 43 years old smile without filters, without botox, and with kindness to myself. That simple.
I wanted to let you know that "As I age I am excited about a more intimate relationship with my body that relies less on external validation and more on internal marriage…internal validation." That simple.