Monday, December 12, 2011

Being in my body 1

It is difficult for me to admit but but wanting in my body is close to incomprehensible to me. In the Pleasure Reboot program I took a week ago, Jenna talked about pleasure as a feeling and feelings only living in the body. They don't live in the mind. We need to be present in our bodies to perceive pleasure, happiness, contentment, satisfaction, joy, relaxation.

Most of my life I have felt separate from my body and for good reason. At a certain point in my childhood, I went from being unconscious of my body to being hyper-conscious of it. It was a time of emotional trauma and my body was full of fear. I had no way to talk about the fear, to process it, to befriend it, and all I could do was distance myself from it. Later, when I no longer lived in constant fear, I found other emotions to avoid: humiliation, nervousness, boredom, anxiety, and later jealousy and heartbreak.

Of course, my life wasn't all awful. I had laughter and happiness and pride and accomplishment and excitement. But I had already learned to distance myself from my body and so it was very difficult to register those more positive emotions and they never seemed as strong or important as the misery.

As my alcoholism progressed into chronic hangover, the physical illness was wretched and I further distanced myself from my body so that I wouldn't feel so sick, so ashamed, so lost. And because my drinking led me to a lot of casual sexual encounters, I didn't want to experience them either, though I always thought I did.

I've been sober now for more than 22 years and I have healed a lot. I have learned to understand my alcoholic tendencies, to understand my experience of attachment disorder, to understand why I couldn't pick better partners or make the ones I picked really love me. I understand a lot. But that's in my head, not in my body.

I'm coming to see that in order to let go of food as soother, I have to learn to feel pleasure in other parts of myself. And this is terrifying to me. Even thinking about writing this and posting it brought on two panic attacks today, deep experiences of fear in my body. But I do have a small degree of willingness. And maybe even just an inkling of curiosity.

1 comment:

Lily Gael said...

Beautifully said. Thanks for your honest personal sharing. Who would of thought that learning to feel pleasure would be such a difficult unravelling when I thought being a hope-to-die pleasure-seeker was my biggest problem!