Perhaps I'm jumping the gun. Perhaps I'm ahead of myself and too eager to transition back to school-- back to life, but as someone very dear to me once preached, "facing death is how you learn to live." Today I decided to spend a few minutes going through and organizing a few drawers, which consequently transformed into an afternoon project. I dove into a pool of belongings I've acquired since August-- August 10th, to be precise. On August 10, 2009 I was admitted to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia by ambulance. If I had not finally surrendered, I would have died. Now, waves of love, memories and lessons learned float around me. Thus, began the great swim down memory lane.
Never underestimate the power of words, because you never know when they'll save your life. The passion and beauty expressed is extraordinary and I am still terribly troubled, as I ponder what I have done to deserve such devotion and loyalty. I, truly, have been blessed. To each individual who has taken time out of their lives to help save mine, I thank you. I would not have survived without you.
purple (duh). I'll never forget my first experience with art therapy. On August 14, I agreed to attempt to 'draw my emotions', it's not like I had anything better to do while on bed rest and plugged into multiple machines of sorts. Before me lay a piece of paper with a circle on it alongside the tools I could use. "So, uh, what am I supposed to draw?" I asked, in disbelief of the concept behind art therapy. "Whatever you want," the therapist said with a smile and tilted head-- as if she was actually curious about the nonsense inside my head. 'Oh, she's good. Reeeaaalll clever..' I didn't know where to begin, I had everything yet an infinity's worth of nothingness running in circles through my head. For some reason, the very first image my brain projected was a red cross. Thus, began my creation. 40 minutes later, I had created two masterpieces 'unique creations'. It was then I discovered:
- I was about to embark on a journey-- one that should be recorded
- The color purple is significant? Yes, it's symbolic of hope (apparently)
- I'd much rather color in a book. My artistic skills are nearly nonexistent and I'm pretty good at staying inside the lines (heh)
"Bring your binder and something to write with to group!" How many times have I heard those haunting words? This three-ringed binder I learned to loathe traps every lesson learned, memory and bond formed at the University of Princeton Medical Center's EDU. When I open the binder I am reminded of:
- The tears cried and the days I dreaded
- Every "constructive discussion" (i.e.argument with staff) I managed to concoct and 'rule' I challenged-- which usually got me nowhere, mind you
- The staff who saved me: Beth, I think about you every single day and wish more than anything for a chance to reunite. Chrissy, though you got me to speak and cry in every group, you taught me so much about myself. And Rachel, when a piece of white bread is within my peripherals, I am reminded of the hope you had in me and the inspiration I, dearly, hold onto from you
- The rock stars who fought with me
Most times I am still in disbelief that I, not only have an eating disorder, but that I have been confined to hospitals and rehab for the past semester. I was supposed to begin my senior year of college. I was supposed to be a music teacher for a local synagogue, the social-action chair on Hillel's board, a proud VoKols member, a roommate to three of my best friends, a caregiver for the most precious girl who has special needs and a dedicated (and frequently stressed) student. I will not toss my cap in the air with my friends. I will not enjoy a spring semester of excitement and dramatized fears about the 'real world' while living the senioritis dream students look forward to for four years. No, I have already missed out on and will continue to be a ghost to the life of a college senior. But, I will be alive.
As I tread through this eclectic mess and pack away the memories, I can only appreciate the journey From Here to There (yes, still in purple) thus far. My return to Pittsburgh in January is not guaranteed, though I convince myself otherwise, but I have learned that each day is a new beginning. And while this journey has barely begun and I cautiously await stumbles and falls that lay ahead, I am eager to proceed down my (not so) yellow brick road. There's got to be more to life than what's been left behind.
The inspirational Randy Pausch reminds us that "Experience is what we get when we didn't get what we wanted."
P.S. I'm totally having breakfast for dinner tonight-- it's just been one of those lazy, winter Sundays. Banana & chocolate chip pancakes, anyone? :)