Aside

Inferno

13 Mar 25eac817c6948146e30834cfaf844246

Image

Feathers rustle as dust settles…

Snowflakes in a silent desert are… different.

These fall black.

 

There was a Holocaust here.

Who dare speak of the suffering?

 

Hair mirroring the very flames inside her.

whispers of “A Girl on Fire,”

Burned at the stake,

a spiritual pyre.

 

They knew.

she’d seen evil glow,

burning inside the Devil’s eyes.

She was the One

who’d dare glimpse the deepest dark.

 

a body consumed in the fire,

torched in torture.

Her heart: self-scalded.

Sea of Shame sizzling in the sea of flames

until the excess enkindled, the surplus seared down to skeleton.

 

Even bared bones

Don’t make it through the Crematorium.

 

Now, a scattering of ashes,

wind carries away Pastness.

 

And just as it seems

her Spirit rests beneath the dying embers:

a spark.

 

The Phoenix rises again…

Aside

“Yes, butting…”

8 Nov

ImageYes, but what about your bones? What about the four fractures you’ve already had? What about the D, K2, calcium, magnesium, zinc, boron cluttering the refrigerator door?

Yes, but what about Osteoporosis screaming from the bottom of the bone density results form?

Yes, but what about when you want to still dance when you’re 90?

Yes. I know… but what about your brain? What about your future, college, your dreams? Yes, those will all go down the toilet, too.

Yes, but what about your potential? What about all the time you’ve wasted? What about differential equations, and calculus problems, long novels, research, and psychology? What about brain chemicals and alternative therapies? What about creativity, art, crossword puzzles, and KenKens?

Yes, but what about all the kids that depend on you? What about giving and teaching? What about them? What about saying, “You don’t really matter that much to me?”

Yes, but what about your skin? What about glowing? What about being beautiful, alive, vibrant?

What about those clumps of hair on the shower floor? Will you go back to that?

Yes, but what about your eyes? Sunken and hollow, a thin connection between the living outside and the dead inside…

Yes, you can do that… but do you want to?

Yes, but what about your heart? But the body doesn’t shrink disproportionally… the heart shrinks, too.

Yes, in more ways than one.

But what about your loved ones? What about the mother who worked so hard to care for you so many years and now must watch you self-destruct, helpless to do anything? What do you think you are putting HER through?

What about the aunt who took you in when you needed a home? What about all the teachers who’ve helped you along, both in school and out? What about the treatment team that has always believed in you, even when you haven’t believed in yourself?

What about all the people who love you?

Yes, but get real… you ARE choosing it over them. Yes, but do you value starving more than them?

Yes but what about all you’ve lost? But how much more will you let it rob you of?

Yes, but what about all you have? All the joy recovery brought?

Yes, but what about all you’ve gained? All that you’ve worked for? All the dreams to come?

Yes, you can choose the eating disorder again.

But it will never be worth it.

Rhythm

27 Oct SONY DSC

Every morning

I watch the dark

recede,

gracefully

moving into light.

I’ll be soaking in the sunrise

for the rest

of my

life.

Every evening

I look up at the

dark night sky,

and watch

ever so gratefully

it sparkle for all of us.

I’ll be counting the stars

for the rest

of my

life.

Every moment

I feel the rhythm,

the breath,

the pulse

seeping through my skin.

It is the heart

that keeps

the life. It is the life

that keeps the heart.

I’ll be dancing.

For the rest 

of my 

life.

This Girl

10 Oct SONY DSC

This girl is crying. And it hurts, but feels so damn good.

This girl is unbearably sad. But somehow believably hopeful.

This girl is caught between being scared of the darkness, yet feeling terror at walking into light.

This girl wants to run again.  Into the light. Feel the road beneath her feet, know the wind will carry her through, allow the caress of the deep blue sky to settle upon her rhythmic pounding. How she misses that…

This girl needs to heal first. To go deep again, make up for the months of just surviving on the surface. The months of starving her life away. The months of forgetting loved ones and consuming herself in her own self destruction.

This girl wants to dance. Even more. With and without people. Dance while sitting perfectly still. Shake her soul through life.

This girl wants to feel joy. That feeling of security, that nothing could possibly go wrong.

This girl wants to feel comfort again. To wrap up in fluffy blankets, settle down with mugs of tea, be okay with silence. To stand on the edge and know that there will be no fall. To allow warmth of hugs to bind her soul tighter and remind her of the goodness wrapped inside her chest.

This girl wants to give love again. And her list includes herself.

This girl wants to know her spirit is beautiful and her mind is at peace. That life will be okay no matter what.

This girl doesn’t want these things stolen again. There is a monster that lurks inside.

This girl won’t let them be stolen again.

This girl is strong. This girl will fight. This girl will cry. This girl will remember. This girl will change. This girl will breathe. This girl will eat. This girl will pray. This girl will learn. This girl will feel. This girl will give.

This girl… has too much to live for.

Strength and Syrup

23 Apr

Image

Posting this today, I realized I have not written here in several months. The time has been spent well- new friends, exciting days, dreams of college and being well enough to return to “normal” life again soon. The following prose is the essay I wrote for my college entrance applications. While I received some rejections, I was honest on my applications that my background included an eating disorder and am proud of that decision because my recovery is a big part of who I am today… strong, determined, beautiful. The decision to disclose this illness and my struggle to recover from it also won me many acceptances and next fall, I will be returning to college life.  A Fresh Start. May this piece inspire you. May you know that true recovery is possible after an eating disorder. That life can be so very sweet beyond its grips…

 

The lights go down and the stage darkens. Rustling sounds continue as people adjust to the sudden blackness and settle into the folding, creaky auditorium seats. For a brief moment, I get a surge of the old nervousness, like a swift, roiling wave of nausea in my stomach, but it quickly recedes with a deep rise of my chest. I know how to handle this. It will all be okay. Carefully, I let the breath go and bravely reach once again for a fork.

Sitting in the cool, dingy backroom of the Hideout Café, Wade and I devour mounds of waffles, because after all this is Wafflefest- an annual Austin pairing of an epic waffle bar with all the fixin’s and two hours of non-stop improv comedy. While standing impatiently in line, the two of us playfully hide our Styrofoam plates from each other, piling them high with peanut butter, m&m’s, coconut shreds, rainbow sprinkles, thick whipped cream, and of course, sticky sweet maple syrup, silently competing to see whose creation will be the most outrageous. Later, our bodies shake uncontrollably in laughter and because our blood glucose levels are soaring to near record highs.

In the amber, translucent pools of syrup gathering in my yeasty square indentations, though, I catch a more serious reflection of how far I’ve come. A year ago, the phobia of calories, fat grams, and sugar contents would have kept me from the real sweetness of the night– the laughter and friendship.

Growing up, my house was filled with inescapable anger. Rage, aggression, tension and hostility oozed from the baseboards and seeped out of the walls, drenching me in a sweaty dread of the next irate eruption.  Silent terror, anguish, shame, and a slow anger swirled and tugged at the masks I had created for the outside world: all-A student, confident young woman, committed athlete, dedicated volunteer. The perfect daughter from the perfect family. My emotions threatened to betray me, exposing the lie I was living. So I projected the overwhelming feelings onto food: I fasted of fear, starved away the sadness, binged back the tears, heaved up the humiliation. While I couldn’t change what lurked within my house, my weight and food became problems I could “fix,” and their solutions easily defined. The answer lay in every sharp hunger pang, every half digested dinner I fed the toilet instead of myself, every shaky mile run on thin, bruised feet.

But anorexia meant so much more. It was clumps of red hair on the shower floor, cracking skin, and shivering in the Texas heat. It was electrolyte imbalances, an irregular heartbeat, and shallow breaths. A nose-diving blood pressure, blackouts upon standing, and bones to rival a 60-year-old woman. Anorexia was buying Kotex for nothing, sleeping without the guarantee of tomorrow morning’s alarm, and worst of all¾watching hopelessness etch itself upon the faces I loved because in starving myself to death, I was slowly killing them as well.

The anorexia hijacked my mind so that the line between my thoughts and that of the disorder’s became imperceptible. If you aren’t I am not thin, you are I am worthless. No matter what went wrong, the disorder soothed me with its quiet murmur. Thin will fix this. And I believed it for years because I didn’t trust everything would be okay if I didn’t. On a lonely December night last year, though, my body ached from malnutrition and the specialist had told me weeks before I could go into cardio arrest at any time. With tears streaming down my face, I sobbed, “I can’t do this anymore… there has to be more to life than this. I am not done living yet. I haven’t even started living yet.” I heard the deceptive, sinister whisper like always. Shh…Thin will fix this.You can’t “recover.” But I was exhausted, drained, and tired of subsisting solely on the lies it fed me. I finally realized “thin” was not making me “happy” and from deep within my frail frame, my soul softly snarled. Watch me.

The process of recovery following that pivotal night was painstaking; I had to grapple with my worst fear three times a day, everyday. The eating disorder was relentless, taunting me as I tried to pry its sickly, iron, parasitic grip away from my mind and body. Look how fat you’re getting. You can’t do this… Oh yeah? Watch me.

And over and over again, for many months, my persistence and strength have slowly beat back the disorder so that today I eat waffles without worry. And whenever I feel a hot, repulsive breath close to my ear waiting to tell me I can’t, that I must be thin and perfect, I always whisper back. Just watch me.

As the lights fade again to signal the end of the show, I smile despite the fact I will wear Eau de Aunt Jemima for the next three days. By now, syrup stains my jeans, plasters the ends of my hair and clings beneath my fingernails. “Oh, well,” I think, “It was worth it. I wouldn’t trade this night for anything. Not pristine palms, not predictability or perfection, and certainly not thinner thighs. ” I’ve discovered this is life… wildly unpredictable, oftentimes messy and, yes, usually sticky.

 

But, also… sweeter than I could have ever imagined.

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