Methods for Releasing Tension

“I shouldn’t have to!”

Shout it at the voice that whispers, “You should exercise”.

“I don’t have to!”

Scream it at the echoes of every article telling you to hurt and punish yourself for feeling stressed or upset. “Exercise,” say those hateful people. Writing for an audience of those who are feeling bad, they see an opportunity to kick you while you’re down. Hence, they recommend the very behavior that caused your stress in the first place, or certainly exacerbated it, as a means to alleviate it.

You feel trapped. Not only are you tense, hopeless, and depressed, but those who claim to offer solutions suggest that you hurt yourself more, sinking deeper into despair. They suggest you do the most psychologically abhorrent thing imaginable, bowing to the barbaric standards of beauty beaten into use by the evil media.

“I shouldn’t have to!”

Shout it louder, really shout it, not in a voice of desperation but in a voice of authority. You are not the screaming victim but the angry parent berating a foolish and cruel child who has harmed a younger sibling.

“I don’t have to!”

Shout it in a ringing tone of authority. You are not the tortured soul but the righteous leader preaching the truth to those who are lost.

“I shouldn’t have to.”

No longer must you shout. Your words are daggers of ice, shredding all feelings of guilt.

“I don’t have to.” This soft assertion is a solvent, washing away the hurtful insinuations that you deserve to suffer, deserve to exercise, because you are feeling bad.

“I won’t.” A quiet whisper that conveys the fiery certainty of truth. A declaration of autonomy, of strength. All those remembered voices must retreat, cowering in fear. Those words allow no argument, as they present no reasoning to be attacked. Those words allow no intimidation, for they are spoken in state of ice-cold rage, the sort of rage that, frozen, cannot be molded into fear or self-loathing.

“I shouldn’t have to. I don’t have to. I won’t.”

I’m done punishing myself to please others.