Choosing more than my ED
I battled my body for years. I tore it to shreds and left it for dead. I withheld nourishment, kindness, and love for my physical being, trying to understand how this place could be a home to a mind and soul that felt so flawed. I made my body my worst enemy, hoping that plotting it’s destruction may bring some type of resolution from the metaphysical things I could not comprehend and thus feared.
I struggled to place one foot in front of the other. My presence comprised of brittle bones and a heart that was barely beating. My being had been so weakened from fighting a civil war that simply could not be won.
And during that struggle, with the little energy I had left, I wondered if the people I walked by, the man sitting next to me on the bus, my neighbor arriving home, the women standing in front of me in line at the store; if they felt as broken and disconnected as me. I wondered if everyone’s true reality was a state of internal destruction and the world around us was just a ploy…. some sort of alternate reality fabricated from false smiles and fictitious notions of perfection. I wondered if other people experienced moments where the time between the seconds seemed to stand still and the only thing left to feel was the crushing weight of unmet expectations and loneliness. I wondered if other people lay in bed at night praying to wake up the next day free from the fear of the unknown, free from the uncomfortable feelings of a difficult past and an uncertain future. I wondered how it is simply possible that we are all still breathing.
And in that wonder, amidst the entrenching darkness of a civil war being fought behind closed doors, I realized that maybe our greatest act of rebellion is the decision to choose more. Because deciding to press forward and carry on when the fire around you threatens to consume your paper heart is the truest act of defiance against a flawed human condition.
I battled my body for what felt like an agonizing eternity, but I sit here today, telling you that the war has come to a close. Because the war, the wonder… it taught me to seek something greater, to stop fighting the thoughts and feelings that were driving me to insanity and instead, float through the waves that once filled my lungs with water. It taught me that we are all struggling, but love for ones self and for others is the only escape from a the most devastating of human conditions.
I still feel the remnants of my war torn skin and broken, beaten body. But today, I accept the chaos that once drove me to seek an unattainable order and control. Today, I choose to explore and to create to understand rather than self-destruct. The wonder was the first step, the first sign that I was capable of constructing my own reality, of understanding the my relationship between the world inside me and the universe around me, and accepting what does not seem clear in the moment.
Each and every one of us was blessed with a paper heart, covered in handwritten stories of struggle and beauty and tragedy. Our paper hearts are proof that courage and bravery exists. Proof that we are all vulnerable beings, but embracing that is a revolution against the heartache. We sit here still breathing because we are warriors, we are survivors, and we continue to choose more.