No, I don’t love my body. You can’t make me either.

A great many people are on the body love wagon. You only get one! You should love it no matter what! And the ever popular if you don’t love yourself, then you aren’t loveable, or capable of receiving love.

I don’t love my body. On some days, I downright hate it. Despise. Detest. I can’t even deal with it. Yes, I’m overweight, but that’s not what I’m talking about at all.

I could go into detail about my diagnoses and what they mean, and how my body handles things differently. But that’s another story. The easy summary is that I was diagnosed with rickets at birth, arthritis at 16, anxiety at 19, and PCOS at 22. I’m 32 now.

I’d like to wake up and be able to jump out of bed. Not to worry about my knees hurting. Not to have to do my daily ankle exercises so that I can walk. If I could have joints like someone of my age should, I’d be grateful. I’d love to be able to stand for more than 10 minutes, to move like I do in my mind. It’d be really really awesome if I could walk, and not waddle. I wish that stairs weren’t a chore, even one step can be a struggle. I wish I didn’t know that joint replacement is in my future. Or that I might need a cane sooner rather than later. I hate always having to be on the lookout for a chair. I want just one day with a pain level of zero, I’d even take a two, instead of six or seven. I wish I could keep up with my friends instead of seeing obstacles and being jealous of all the things I can’t do.

I’d like to be able to spend more time in large parties or even group dinners. I wish canceling plans was a sadness and not a relief. I love talking and learning more about people, but I am too scared to say anything. I wish I didn’t feel like a bother when I do get comfortable enough to talk to someone. I hate that the things that I should be able to just do are a mental and emotional rollercoaster. I am glad that I can get a good night’s sleep now, but for over five years I couldn’t. I appreciate the medicine that allows me to focus on life, but I would love it more if I didn’t need it. I use my coping strategies almost daily, but I hate that I have to cope with life.

I wish I could have children. One day maybe women’s fertility treatments will be more reliable, but I don’t think I’ll see the benefits. I wish my hair wasn’t falling out because of the excess male hormones in my system. I would love to be able to rely on a calendar to track my cycle. If I could take birth control, it might help, but my hormones are so zany that I’d have my period right in the middle of the pack. And at the end. And whenever it feels like. Plus cramps at any point. Not to mention that I was at high risk for stroke the last time I was on birth control. I wish that I felt more supportive for my friends that choose to not have children, instead of bitter because they can make the choice I wasn’t given.

I love myself. I’m clever, smart, funny, creative, and loyal. I won’t love my body. And you can’t make me.