If only I could live within all the beauty of this world and beyond . . .
If only I could be free. I dream of freedom. It remains elusive, and I am beginning to think I am impeding my own recovery from anorexia. I am beginning to realize that I only I hold the key to being well. My doctor asked me the other day — why do I persist in trying to prove to myself that I am unable to recover, when I was able to do it before. But, I said, that was just weight restoration. No, he replied. You were beginning to be restored to life.
As my mind flies back to the months before my relapse, it really does seem like a dreamworld. Now I've re-entered the world of Ana. Every morsel is suspect; every bite is taken with fear.
Still, I dream. Why can't I stop? Why can't I just accept I have anorexia and let it take its course? After all, Ana keeps throwing her tricks at me and I fall for every one of them; I try everything I can think of to destroy my body. In the process, I sometimes feel I am destroying my soul. Even today, I tried (but failed) to purge a normal meal. Both my doctor and a good friend have told me God must have been watching over me during my first failed attempt to purge. If so, how long can I expect God to be patient with me?
Oh yes, I've written my obituary in my head many times and my greatest fear is that it will read that I died of "complications due to anorexia nervosa." That will be my defining moment, what everyone will remember about me. That I was thin, and that it eventually killed me. And nothing else will matter — not being a loving (albeit difficult) wife, daughter and sister; an award-winning journalist; a graduate student who has been called "brilliant" by two different professors; and, most importantly, someone who cannot live nor breathe without writing.
Still, I dream. The pictures of above are beautiful representations of my dreams of recovery. I want to dive into the colors, be immersed in the rich reds and deep blues. I want to swim amongst the stars, stare in wonder at the constellation of Cassiopeia. I want to dance with the fireflies.
Today, I moved amongst the butterflies at a local exhibit. The soft creatures fluttered around, gliding in and out and stopping to rest on a succulent flower or juicy bit of apple. The room was warm and humid, filled with people. The butterflies sometimes appeared a bit dazed by all noise and confusion.
Then I came upon a broken butterfly. Its brown and blue wings were ripped in pieces. This butterfly seemed tired, and fluttered by itself and would often hide behind a potted plant. My heart reached out toward this broken butterfly; its body was broken and my body is broken. The butterfly rested on my finger after some gently coaxing, and I whispered assurances that it was still beautiful in spite of the tattered wings.