by Rosie Bason, Mullumbimby, NSW
I used to hear the word abuse and what came to my mind was someone getting beaten up or bashed.
To me the word abuse looked like a physical blow to the body by someone else, or the verbal abuse when someone was being spoken to like a piece of…
What I had not ever seen was that abuse in the body can mean so much more, and that it can be done by me, to myself. I wasn’t even aware that I was being abusive… self-abusing, that is!
Here are Some of the Ways that I have Noticed How I was Being Self-Abusing:
- The way I spoke to myself, the voice in me always critical and hard.
- The way I dressed, just throwing any old clothes on, and wearing clothes that were uncomfortable all day long, as if I didn’t think I had the choice to change what I was wearing. I would often get dressed and then think, “no, I can’t wear that, that’s too pretty” and just put my jeans back on.
- The way I would throw myself into the seat of the car, just shoving myself in.
- How I would do the same when going to bed, just chuck myself in, without any care whatsoever.
- How I would eat foods that I knew my body would react to, and I knew that they weren’t good for me, but I would eat them anyway without any consideration of the reaction I would experience shortly after. I did not stop to feel if I was actually hungry, or if I really felt like eating a particular food. I would just eat it.
- The way that I would move, without any real awareness, meaning that I would often bump my body into the wall, the chair, and end up with bruises.
- How I would drink 2 glasses of wine and then vomit all night. My body could not handle the alcohol but I would do it anyway.
- If I was in pain I used to suffer through it, not take pain killers and not take myself to the doctor because I was a herbalist and therefore thought that I didn’t need any support!
- How I hadn’t been to the dentist in years because I didn’t think I needed to and didn’t want to WASTE the money on ME.
Things have changed these days and I am so much more aware. I have started to really love and cherish this body that I am living with. I take care when I am getting dressed, I gently get into the car, and when I go to bed at night I prepare my bed and put myself to sleep as if I was putting a child to sleep.
My Perception of Going to the Doctor has Changed
Going to the doctor and/or dentist no longer leaves me feeling like a failure having asked for their support. It feels great as it makes me realise that I am not all alone. In the past, I was so held in my beliefs that I was a herbalist and therefore doctors were the bad guys and I would prefer to suffer and be in pain rather than seek their support. I felt that natural medicine was the only way to go and that doctors were only into prescribing the drugs regardless if it helped you or not. I was in a strong belief that doctors only treated the effect and not the cause so I did not trust them. Since I have opened up and allowed myself to feel the support of the medical world I have had awesome experiences and realised the belief I once held about the medical profession is not true.
I no Longer Need the Stimulation from Unhealthy Food like I Used to
My diet has changed and I no longer eat dairy, gluten, deep-fried food or much processed foods because I have a connection now with my body that I was never aware of in the past. I sometimes want something sweet so I have a gluten and dairy free pancake or a piece of cake. For me it’s not about trying to be ‘good’ or having a strict diet. For me it’s about honoring what my body is feeling at any certain time. If I do crave something sweet, I can normally see that it is because I am tired and wanting a pick-me-up. When I do eat something sweet the results are so obvious now that I’d rather not get the consequence of feeling tired, bloated, grumpy, or feel the pain in my stomach just for those few moments where the food tasted good when I put it in my mouth.
I no longer bump into things, and I have started exercising regularly. I realised recently that although I was not overweight, I had very little core body strength. My body is loving the daily exercise routine and I always feel so great afterwards. My mind tries to get in the way, telling me that my bed is warmer and I could just lay there… but when I make the effort for me and my body the results are so much better than lying in bed! I can really feel that taking time to exercise my body is a really loving choice, and the choice to stay in bed and not move my body is just another way that I can be self-abusive.
I no longer need to drink alcohol or smoke because I am now looking after myself on a whole different level and no longer need these things to get by through the day – I feel great without it and I have absolutely no desire. I don’t feel like I am missing out at all.
I used to think that abuse only came from others, but I now take responsibility for the abuse that I was doing to myself: that hidden self-abusing that I was unaware of for so long.