“You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be.”
Tuesday night I that Epiphany and that light bulb appeared. Later that evening, I lay in bed and it all started to click. I wrote the following:
It's all starting to make sense. I hear my brother playing a beautiful melody on the piano. He is so talented. I could create music like that too, if I allowed myself to try. I smell the warmth from my mother's roasted chicken that fills the entire house. I could probably try that too.
Though physically I am terribly weak and mentally I 'should be' exhausted after this long, emotional day-- I actually feel the strongest I've felt in a long time.
Today I've realized God is on my side. Perhaps I've been too distracted to notice, and for that I am sorry.
But I'm done saying sorry. God and I have some serious work to do.
I feel as if my soul has been found and my spirits have been lifted. I don't need an eating disorder. I have all the tools and coping mechanisms I could possibly need to help me fully recover. In fact, I am beginning to believe that my ED is a 'cop out'. Eating disorders are the easy way out from dealing with real emotions, feelings and thoughts. Well, I am ready to face my fears and deal with what life throws at me, just like many do. Not only have I been taught the tools necessary to succeed, but I have been blessed to have more (as I smile and cry just thinking about what I am fortunate to have). I have my soulmates. They have stood by my side through it all. Some are waiting for me to return to Pittsburgh and others are waiting for me to get over this "fluke-of-a-flu". But they have missed me. And they need me. No, I am not worthless. I share beautiful relationships with every person who is currently in my life. For those who aren't, they clearly didn't deserve to be. I also have two crazy siblings who fear for me-- only because they care too much. They have become my best friends. And what parents would tell their daughter, "Money is not an issue, don't you worry", when in reality it is.
But most importantly, I have me, which is beautiful, special and sacred. NO one can take 'me' away from myself. No one. During my stay at Princeton I went through a lot of self discovery, and tonight I ask myself again, "Who am I?"
- I am a musician
- I am a volunteer
- I am a caregiver
- I am a student
- I am a hardworker
- I am a friend
- I am a daughter
- I am a relative
- I am a Jew
- I am a fighter
- And I am beautiful.
I know that if I hold onto the coping skills, the people I am privileged to have in my life and my self-identity, I will be OK. Every individual who cares about me would never desert, think less of nor judge me. Perhaps I can treat myself the same why. Yes, maybe I can take a compliment and internalize it. Or as Chrissy would say, "own it".
I have searched and searched for a reason to let go of ED, and by George, I think I've got it. Though it's come down the wire (rather abruptly), I always tend to do my best work when I procrastinate. If I hadn't been hit hard by the new's from the phone session, I wouldn't have realized my potential. I am ready to be a successful student and live a healthy life filled with love, faith and happiness. I can will be successful at school because I've got all I could possibly need and could never ask for me
This past Saturday seemed like the perfect day. My family and I sat around the kitchen table playing cards, reminiscing and laughing. There bags of chips laying around, various containers of dips and homemade cookies. I engaged in what I admire most-- intuitive eating. I ate, passed a card, told a joke, ate some more, without any hesitation, doubt, or worry. For the first time in a very long time, I was the me I used to love. I have realized that food is what, quite literally, brings people together. We all lead such busy, independent lives that when it's time to sit down for a meal, everyone becomes one. Our problems are (or 'should be') left at the door and smiles slowly peer open. I know eating certain foods won't harm me, I guess I've been too stubborn to accept that. I was too afraid to let go of the ED--something that was once my only way to cope escape from my problems or worries. But I'm better than that.
Recovery is about choice. My choice is to work hard and get passed recovery. I want to be recovered. I've been searching for something that doesn't exist-- perfection. But the reality is, I have it all right before my very eyes. I am ready to accept my ADD, knowing I may not always get the multiple choice exam score I'd like. And there will be many more "Oh no, I forgots" and "Oops, I'm so sorry's" But if you can live with it, so can I. And if not, you better hit the road, Jack, and don't come back. It's time to make something from myself. My life is waiting for me, and so is my diploma. In reference to Jenni Schafer I would like to express, "Goodbye ED, Hello Me". And you know what else? I'm going to have a plate of chicken. What the hell.
Is it going to be hard? Yes. Will I give into ED? Probably. Do I still have much to learn from my past and how it's influenced the person I am today? Yes. Am I going back to school? I just don't know. But I did get back up to my minimum goal weight, and I couldn't help but smile :) My psychiatrist told me I have a gift as she said, "maybe this time off from school could be towards your advantage? Would you allow me to share some of your writing with other patients? Maybe you could impact others-- by writing a book." I was stunned, but flattered (see?! I can own compliments!)
Since I am Jewish, this Christmas day will be spent at the movies, going out for Chinese and then over to my neighbor's for dessert. It's the best day of the year. And tonight, I plan on kicking my sister's butt at Wii. To those who are observant, I wish you a a very merry, healthy and joyful Christmas. Love you all from the bottom of my heart.
“Just remember, the same as a spectacular Vogue magazine, remember that no matter how close you follow the jumps: Continued on page whatever. No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn't experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention. Well, get used to that feeling. That's how your whole life will feel some day. This is all practice. None of this matters. We're just warming up.”-- Chuck Palahniuk
P.S. this is for your enjoyment, hopefully it makes you smile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZX7H-ggCo0&feature=topvideos