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Aside

Inferno

13 Mar

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.

This Girl

10 Oct

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.

A Love that Pulls You Through

5 Nov

Have you ever had to lose someone you loved? You love them, yet you know it’s best to let them go. With tears streaming down my face, I am writing this post because I am going to lose someone I love soon– my precious, adorable, sweet old dog, Freckles.

She is old… 14 years. I knew this was coming, but it doesn’t make it any easier. 

This morning she seemed fine. I mean she’s been sleeping a lot lately, but that’s to be expected of an old dog. Nothing out of the ordinary… it became our routine. Her laying at my feet as I typed away on my computer, the click of the keyboard a lullaby to her doggy dreams of endless kibble and long, drawn-out walks.

And again, she lays at my feet, but this time, not sleeping peacefully but in a painful slump. As though just breathing and being here is an effort. She’s had an arduous day- no appetite, listless, and unwilling to walk much further than around our apartment building. Her eyes are unfocused, dull and half-closed as her legs twitch convulsively. I think this is the first day she’s ever NOT eaten, especially chicken, and I hadn’t noticed how many ribs I could feel until this afternoon. It seemed to sneak up on me… how could she go downhill this fast?

I wonder what I will do… how many days I cried into her fur, my sobs saturating her coat. She listened better than any human and gave the appropriate paw for “more petting please” as I grappled with the difficulties of life, my hands grasping the only thing in the apartment that reminded me life was soft, warm, and pretty darn cute.

So many days she kept me safe. Freckles has saved me so many starve-days or purge episodes. Simply because she loves, like all dogs, unconditionally. It didn’t matter if I royally messed up that day, how my pants fit, what number was on the scale, or whether or not I ate the “right” foods. To her, it was only me.

And now, I am no longer numb from the eating disorder, so I feel the pain of losing her. How hard it is to watch suffering. And how many times I have asked myself the past few hours, why does it have to be this way? Why must she ache and bruise, stumble and forget, starve and waste away? Yes, it’s part of life, but who designed that?

Yes, as a life is reblooming, so many opportunities restored to my horizon, another is closing. What will I do without her? I can’t fathom it yet. I have no idea how I will ever say goodbye. But I do know one thing… her love has been a tipping factor in my recovery.

Though she may leave me soon, I will keep her in my heart always.

Because it was her love that pulled me through.

The Women I Waited For

29 Oct

Alone in a city of millions… what a paradox.

Yet, just over a year ago, it’s exactly how I lived. Fresh out of inpatient treatment, I went to live with my aunt in New York City. Physically, I looked better, and everyone exclaimed behind hopeful smiles at how restored I seemed. But I knew the truth. The ED spat,

“Look how you’ve let them stuff you. How dare you actually ENJOY eating when they fed you at Oliver Pyatt? I am not done with you yet… You’re mine again.”

After two days in the metropolis, my insurance terminated my intensive outpatient care and I was left with little treatment support. And my ED went wild in jubilation. It was perfect… no one to monitor, no one to force feed, just me and him… all day long.

In the sea of people, I was stranded on a desert island. The ED made me feel ashamed of my newer, higher weight, so I drew inward, clamming up, losing all evidence that I ever had a social life. It was as though I could not emerge back into the world until the ED had deemed me thin enough again. Unfortunately( or perhaps fortunately), I never reached what my ED considered “acceptable.”

No one understood what I was going through. No one could possibly comprehend the pain, the loneliness, the anxiety, and the bleakness that pervaded the summer. No one else was being eaten up from the inside out, being sucked inwardly into a vacuum, where hope did not exist.

Oh, but they did. They do.

This past weekend was a milestone in my recovery as I ventured once again to New York City. But this time I wasn’t alone. And this time, it was on my terms.

Of course, my ED protested, “You shouldn’t… you’ll have to deal with all those messy memories and not knowing every nutritional fact of every bite you eat there. Think of the apple juice on the plane, how much do those flight attendants really pour? Half a can, 3/4? Oh, and those pretzels and peanuts. You’ll have to decline those. Don’t make me remind you of the restaurants all over New York. What land mines! Really, let’s just stay here in nice, safe, cozy Austin and continue to avoid those pesky things called feelings. Doesn’t that sound just peachy?”

Shut. The. Hell. Up.

While the ED pitched its, fit, I stood unwavering, like a parent riding out the terrible-two tantrums. It was not going to keep me alone. Not this time.

So I got on that airplane. And enjoyed the peanuts and the pretzels, plus NYC’s best pierogis, sushi, and muffins. I had coffee with a new friend, wishing the whole time… if only we had met a year ago. Maybe…..    I stayed up ’til 3 in the morning gossiping and reminiscing with my aunt until my eyelids collapsed, yet my heart wanted more. I saw more in four days than I did the entire summer I lived in NYC- art museums, fashion exhibits, improv shows- or at least savored it more. And I attended a bodyPeace by Piece workshop held by Susan Weiss Berry and Margaux Laskey, where I learned new creative tools to help cultivate a deeper acceptance of what my body looks like and how I feel towards this new weight I exist at.

But perhaps, most importantly, the women I interacted with this weekend made me realize that all along, I’ve never truly been on my own. While there are times where I have felt no one could possibly “get it,” they were there, I just didn’t know it then. Their companionship, their empathy, their compassion made me appreciate how “real” these women were. How rare it was to find them. yet here was a whole group of them assembled. Finally, those unafraid to admit, “Yes, we are struggling, too. We are vulnerable and yearning for understanding. We will not turn you away because we know what it’s like to hurt, but also what it’s like to lean on one another and find strength together.”

I could feel it in their smiles, in their warm, enveloping hugs, in their joyful dance, their quiet moments of reflection, their beauty. I knew I wasn’t alone any longer in the struggle. Yes, I silently whispered…

“Thank you. You are the ones I was waiting for…”

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