DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

"Love me" - love, Me

Other

Ariel Leigh

"Love me" - love, Me

My name is Ariel. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder when I was 9, which in retrospect is very a strange age to take on the burdens of how my adult life was going to be shaped by my condition. I was going through puberty (for the first time), and I was in and out of school. It was rough on my wellness and for my social life.

As I've grown older, I've been shaped, for better or for worse, by all the complexities of my childhood and young adulthood. I've accumulated countless falls, spinal injuries, neurological impairments, gastrointestinal and urinary distress, sensory processing issues and disordered emotional processing. I've had several failed relationships. During much of the past 10 years, I was unable to hold down a long-term job, uninsured and unable to see a doctor. I also came to terms with my gender identity after struggling for years and found peace in transitioning, which was what finally motivated me to take care of myself.

I found, and I still find, my ability to focus and shine in mindful meditation practice and in intense academic study, thanks to the support of my partner who loves me for who I am. My physical fitness is an extension of my mental fitness (and vice versa). Not only do I want to have the practical core strength to ambulate, but I want to learn to love my body unconditionally and to find gratitude in all of the things it is able to do and to become for me.

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