Sometimes my brain gets sticky.
I get frustrated with my anxiety when heavy and/or unwanted thoughts keep circling right back up to the forefront of my brain. Calling that “my sticky brain” is a helpful way for me to add a degree of separation. Which often allows me to reflect vs. react, which is typically beneficial for me lol.
In the past few weeks, my brain has been sticky with my body image. I think there’s this myth that once you’ve recovered from an eating disorder like you’re done, you’re outta the woods. And in a lot of ways this is true!! But as a client receiving, my understanding was “oh I’ll do all this work then I won’t suffer with body image thoughts anymore!!” Now I have a lot more knowledge of the brain and how it processes body image and the lived experience of “well as long as I have a body on this earth I’ll probably have to experience some uncomfortable feelings/thoughts about my body.”
I mean, y’all, our bone density peaks mid twenties and after that it starts maintaining and/or decreasing. Bodies are not built for permanence or maintenance. They are built to be used, enjoyed, rested until they aren’t! That perspective may sound grim to some, but for me it’s a humbling reminder that my body wasn’t created for the purpose my sticky brain wants it to be.
My sticky brain wants my body to give me certainty, a sense of control, and comfort.
My body’s purpose is to be used, enjoyed, and rested.
Sometimes it’s helpful for me to recognize my brain’s stickiness as a cue to draw nearer. Like “hey c, I notice this sticky brain. what parts of your life feel uncertain or uncomfortable? is that why your brain keeps going to your body to try to ‘fix’ these uncomfy feelings?” Sometimes it’s helpful for me to redirect and distract myself with being present. As the days warm up, feeling the sunshine hit my skin is a simple and sweet reminder that my body is living. It’s not an object. It’s a living, walking, breathing, sunlight-converting-to-freaking-nourishment-for-my-body GIFT.
Engaging with my “sticky brain” body image thoughts is really just an act of self compassion at the end of the day. It helps me move away from the self objectifying spiral and move closer to me.