To understand the body, we have to be the body. We have to be its pain, its pleasure, its fear and its joy. To see the spiritual being as separate is to cut ourselves off from our ground, our root, our home. – Anodea Judith

So much of my Blog of late has been taken up with me venting my frustrations about my current physical predicament. My Implanon ‘journey’ is rather dominating my life at present. Reading the above quote, as a Pagan, it articulates exactly what I feel to be true. What is interesting about my current physical symptoms is that I am challenged to really embrace this idea in its totality– it is easy to delve into our material selves and live them fully if we are experiencing pleasure and joy, a little harder if we find ourselves caught in a body that is sick or ailing. Of course, for all of us, our lives will at some point include experiences of fear, pain and illness. We will all have to face this dilemma at some point. As with most challenges, it is how we respond that makes all the difference.

After only a week’s break, I started bleeding again after having bled for fourteen days straight. After about four days it seemed to be lightening and I had hopes it would finish. The unpredictable nature of the implant had the flow suddenly becoming heavier again and here I am, another fourteen days later, still bleeding and no sign of it stopping. Out of six weeks of the implant, I have bled for a whole month of that time. The face staring back at me from the mirror this morning had the pallor of the Bride of Dracula – thank the gods for blusher! I have been trying to take care of myself: extra iron, eating well, resting and yet I still feel physically exhausted and mentally vague and flat. The only blessing in all of this is that the implant seems to have stopped the intensely painful cramping that has been such a signature of my periods. Hurrah for little victories!

I am my body and this is where I am at present. The human, fragile part of me feels a little caught between the proverbial rock and hard place: if I have the implant removed, I go back to not only fourteen days of heavy bleeding a month but also vomit inducing and persistent pain, an unhealthy level of painkillers and the fear of worsening symptoms; of being housebound; of not be able to sleep through the night because of having to rush to the loo a billion times; of feeling so insecure each time I leave the house for fear of flooding; of fearing that people might misunderstand my distance; of feeling cut off and tired so much of the time. If I stick with the implant, I have what seems like endless bleeding but little pain and an uncertain future. It might be that in a couple of months it will all settle down – the doctors advise waiting – and yet I wonder how much stamina I have got for this. No one is built to bleed continually.

I have no idea what to do and my best strategy is to wait – not sure what choice I have at the moment. It’s a strange place to be and I desperately want to trust in a happy outcome. My resilience is wavering, which is the scariest thing of all because if I stop being buoyant, I sink. Maybe in truth I need to sink; maybe what my body wants is for me to acknowledge its hurt and pain and stop trying to rise to every challenge. I have this inner, punch drunk warrior self that just can’t help itself taking up arms and feeling like it has to be heroic against the odds and if it isn’t all will be lost. I feel sure that the answer to all this will be found in my body – bodies articulate and speak a greater truth about where we are – there is no self-deception in the language of the body. Let’s hope I can listen well.


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