Yesterday, I woke up in the morning full of emotions which made my muscles sore and my insides feel tangled up. I texted my massage therapist, half-begging for an appointment to see her that day.
Bless her, she arranged to see me and I was so grateful for it. I asked to focus on my back because I had a very real sense that I was holding a lot of emotion in it. This was my 3rd massage with her, and yesterday was the first time I have really, genuinely enjoyed it. She connected to something deeper. Only along my back, shoulders and neck – everything else I can feel, but not enjoy – but still. This body can feel enjoyment, apparently.
My weight has stablised. 3 weeks at basically the same weight. I have been quite upset by this, as I am still above a healthy weight, according to the less-than-wonderful BMI scale. ‘Being overweight’ is a trigger point of mine – my mum in particular used to pick me up on how unhealthy I was, how ugly being overweight was etc.. S really supported me in acceptance of this stability. I value her opinion of my size and shape, because I trust her, and because she sees lots of naked bodies! She also sees my body in it’s most vulnerable state – usually, when I’m naked with someone I’m tensed and strained, intending for them to see me for the shortest time possible. I cannot maintain that for an hour, so she sees me when I’ve had to let my guards down. She was really complimentary today, about my shape and my hands, and I managed not to instantly dispute her kind comments on at least one occasion. She sees the parts of me with a different focus.
I like that she talks to me about the muscles she is stretching and manipulating, or the bones that she is moving over. She doesn’t talk about the fat. It’s irrelevant to what she does. I give the fat so much attention but really, it’s irrelevant. It matters to nobody else as much as it matters to me.
We talk sometimes, depending on whether I need to be breathing or not. S worked in mental health before, and her insights are really supportive. There were two things that came from our session that I wrote on my hand on the way home. The first was her suggestion that my learning to feel and enjoy and treasure my body is a process of coming home. She told me how so many of us live in our heads all the time, without any sense of being within ourselves. ‘Inbodiness’, she called it. Part of moving forward, for me, is going to be about learning to be within my body. Because, as S said, your heart is in your body and it’s truly our first and only home. Maybe therapy, with T and with A, is about coming home to the body I fled from, many years ago.
The other thing she said was not new, but it was helpful and important for me to connect it to the physical. She was connecting a very tight muscle along my spine, and I grabbed hold of my breath and held it. Then I laughed – what a ridiculous coping strategy, holding my breath, like that is ever going to save me?! I laughed, but S didn’t; instead, she reminded me that these coping strategies saved my life, at one time. They shouldn’t be ridiculed. But they’re old now, and they aren’t needed any more. I am safe enough to give them up.
It feels strange and exposing, but quite magical, to be talking about giving up the old and welcoming the new.
I really appreciated her yesterday and she totally turned my panic around. Ooh, and, I didn’t panic at the end! She decided it was best if I moved away from herm as she held her hands lightly on my head, instead of her letting go of me – which worked. Turns out making myself leave her is better than her leaving me.
All part of the process of coming home.