18 January 2010

Slipping out of grasp

I am afraid of food.

I am inside a dark hole, the rope of recovery hanging just out of reach. My fingers stretch to grab hold, but cold winds swirl around and twisting, turning, it moves out of reach.

Once I could almost see the top.

I see myself hazily, a small figure desperately reaching out to grab hold. Everything else fades, the world is filled with ghosts moving around me, not touching me. I long to disappear altogether, to a place where nothing can touch me.

I look at food and I don't care. I look at graduate school and I see it as a dying dream. I look at my marriage, my love, and I see it dying.

Food seems so alien now. I was at my most pure two years ago. Light, airy, almost not of this world. At least I had Ana. Or she had me.

It started New Year's Day and meeting three young girls, interviewing them about their futures, filled with hope and without fear and anxiety. My optimism of the night before faded, as I thought about all my failures.

Like being drunk for two years at Michigan State University.

Like sleeping with every guy who came along.

Like throwing away a full scholarship to Stanford University.

Like being the campus slut.

Like having an affair with a married man.

Like . . .

But hope still held the first of January. Then Haiti was struck with an earthquake and I realized how very useless I am. I could do nothing.

Cut here. Cut there. It is so easy to eliminate food when you still eat so little of it. Guilt has become my food and I'm choking on it.

Then the triggers came. This person was thinner than I. That person was purging more then me. Everyone was suffering and I couldn't do anything about it.

Guilt became three meals a day.

I don't deserve to eat. Food is for those who matter. And everybody matters but me.

I have became afraid of food. The mere thought of it touching my lips terrifies me. I look at my yogurt in the morning, and I want to throw it across the room. I cut my sandwich in half at lunch and toss part of it in the trash. The dead chicken breast on my plate at dinner mocks me.

I waste food in a world that is starving.

Then I thought — I could fast for the Haitian people. I could offer up myself and my heart as a sacrifice.

But I am unworthy.

And I'm still afraid of food.

Now I wonder how I can grasp the elusive rope of recovery. I have been climbing for years, my arms are tired and my hands are bruised. I was almost to the top when it slid out of my grasp.

I realized this morning, I can't grab that rope by myself. I need someone to hold it steady for me. Then, maybe then, I can slowly climb my way back.

I haven't given up. (Or this wouldn't have been written.) But I'm asking anyone out there — will you grab that rope for me? Just hold it, friend, hold it steady. Then I can start climbing again.


Silly Girl said...

I'll grab the rope for you. What a beautiful post! You summed up very well the struggle of recovery. It is not easy and you know this. I applaud your honesty. Stay strong sister and know that I and others are rooting for you:).

Anonymous said...

Angela, so many of us have our hands on the rope, over yours so it doesn't slip, and we believe in you. - Heidi

Jessica said...

MY mum once told me that food is one thing no one person deserves more than an other so if i thought she deserved food so did I, treat yourself as you wish your loved ones were treated

lisalisa said...

Please hold on! You have so much to give the world, but right now focus on taking care of you! You deserve to live and thrive just as much as every person in Haiti or anywhere in the world. I wish you could have the love and compassion for yourself that you have for other people.


Jessie said...

I can relate so well to all of this, especially the feeling that I don't deserve to eat. The truth is that you are an amazing and inspirational person and you do deserve a life of happiness. A life where you are healthy and able to achieve your dreams. The past is the past and it doesn't define you.

ghost girl said...

you have inspired me so much just through the internet!
I would hold a rope for you, the world needs you....needs your voice.

and you need food.

Please hold on and take care of you.
you most certainly do deserve life...and food, although i know it may not feel like it to you, you do.

Dear Body said...

"I was almost to the top when it slid out of my grasp." I can relate so well to this....this has happened quite a few times to me and everytime I've managed to climb back up it and so can you. I'm at the top again...this time, I'm not letting go. You can do this you know.

shonasiddiqui said...

Angela, you can count on me to steady that rope so you can climb.

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...

Turn that thinking around, woman! :) Don't live in the past. You are living in the past. When you can let go, and live in the now, focusing only on this moment and this day, you will feel freer and happier. I know it's hard to do... but the rope is out of your reach because your thoughts of your past are burdening you so that they are weighing you down and you aren't able to jump to reach that precious rope.

Hang in there. You can do this.

Lou Lou said...

that touched my heart... this is a struggle, yes. i would lassoo you if I could, your words help me and many others. just for today. i was thinking like this so much yesterday. crisis team at my house and all. but looking on blogs always helps me, maybe have a read of some. do whatever it is you do that helps you. i am sending you light and love and the new zealand summer to keep you warm

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