An Gaeilgeoir Nocht

An Gaeilgeoir Nocht

Tá sé aisteach, ach tá sé seo níos deacra ná teacht amach as an gcófra. Is nochtach mé; sin, tá mé níos compordacha mo shaol a cónaí gan éadaí. Síleann a lán daoine, mura nach bhfuil an chuid is mó den daoine, gur ‘nochtach’ códfhocal sásúil go sóisialta é ar son ‘taispeántóir’. Faraor, is iad na fíornochtaigh i bhád níos lú graosta. Le bheith cruinn faoi, tá mo shaol leadránach go leor. Ólaim mo chaife ar maidin, seiceálaim mo chuid r-phoist, glanaim an teach, léim leabhair, agus codlaím nocht. Neamhshuimiúil ar fad. Is fearr liom dul chuig trá áit a bhfuilim ábalta a bheith ag snámh agus ag déanamh bolg le gréin gan bríste snámha.

Tá an fhírinne go gcabhraíonn an nochtachas mé sáraigh deacrachtaí pearsanta le diosmhoirfín choirp. Nuair a bhí mé i mo dhéagóir, bhí anoireicse orm. Agus tá an chuid níos measa nár thug éinne faoi deara. Cén fáth nár thug siad? Is dócha mar gheal ar go bhfuilim i m’fhéar agus “ní fhaigheann fir anoireicse”. Is mothú ait é a beith duine dár nós féin agus cliste a bhfuil ábalta amharc ar an sciathán agus dhá leagan den duine féin a fheiceáil. Ar lámh amháin, ag 20 bliain d’aois, bhí mé chomh peitite go raibh mé ábalta jíons mná ag an mhéid a náid a chaitheamh. Ar an lámh eile, bhí mé an-ghar do bheith murtallach agus bhí orm níos mó meáchan a chailleadh. Níl aon míniú réasúnach air sin – ach is féidir liom dearbhaigh go bhfuil sé fíor céad faoin gcéad.

Cuidíonn iniúchadh a dhéanamh ar nochtachas liomsa glac mo choirp mar atá sé. Taispeánann am a chaitheamh le nochtaigh eile liomsa gur iomaí saghas duine atá ann go firinne – agus ní haon chúis náire é. Chomh maith leis sin, is iad na fíornochtaigh cuid de na daoine is cairdiúla agus is sásta a mbuailim leis riamh. Is an chuid is mó macánta agus ionraic agus toilteanach a chaitheamh an éirí in airde sóisialta uathu chomh go furasta mar chaitheann siad a n-éadaí uathu.

Tá sé buíochas le nochtachas agus le cairde nochtaigh go bhfuilim ábalta meáchan a chuir orm agus a chuir ar an sláinte mo choirp in ionad a méid. Anois agus arís, feicim fós an dá leagan domsa féin, ach le i bhád níos lú minicíochta ná deich bliain ó shin. Déanta na fírinne, tá an deacrachta is mó atá agam a bheith i mo nochtach agus i mo chónaí in iarthuaisceart na Dún na nGall, sin mo bille an teasa.

The Naked Gaeilgeoir

It’s strange but this is more difficult than coming out of the closet. I am a naturist; that is, I am more comfortable living my life without clothes. Many, if not most, people think ‘naturist’ is a socially acceptable code word for ‘exhibitionist’. Alas, true naturists are a lot less titillating. In fact, my life is quite boring. I drink my morning coffee, check my emails, clean the house, read books and sleep naked. Really uninteresting. I prefer to go to a beach where I can swim and sunbath without a bathing suit. That’s really it.

The truth is that naturism has helped me overcome personal issues with body dysmorphia. When I was a teenager, I was anorexic. And the worst part is that no one noticed. Why not? Probably because I’m a guy and “guys don’t get anorexia”. It’s a very strange sensation to be a down-to-earth and intelligent person who can look into the mirror and see two versions of himself. On the one hand, at 20 years old I was so petite I could wear girls’ jeans in a size 0. On the other hand, I was verging on obese and needed to lose more weight. There is absolutely no rational explanation for it – but I can confirm that it is 100% true. 

Exploring naturism has helped me accept my body as it is. Spending time with other naturists shows me that humans really do come in all shapes and sizes – and that is nothing to be ashamed about. Moreover, true naturists are some of the friendliest and happiest people I’ve met. Most are sincere and honest and willing to throw off social pretence as easily as they throw off their clothes. 

It is thanks to naturism and naturist friends that I have been able to put on weight and focus on my body’s health rather than its size. Once in a while I still see both versions myself, but much less frequently than 10 years ago. In fact, the biggest issue that practicing naturism in northwest Donegal presents is my heating bill.

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