I’ve been meaning to write. Over a week ago, I spontaneously went to a free concert in Century City with a couple of great people, food trucks, and good music. I felt happy and inspired. I felt free.
Then, a few days later, I was sitting in a group which was run by therapists I hadn’t met before. Just as the therapists were different, so was their opening question. They started with the question, “why are you choosing life?” I was uplifted and had the urge to write about the little things, which was the answer to my question; I live for the chance to wake up and realize how beautifully sunny it is, or the space to notice when a stranger exchanges a smile, the moments when something catches my eye and I realize in continuing on this path of endless, unanswered questions, I made the right decision. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know these tiny wonders.
Even after that, I was further motivated by several conversations I had with a variety of people. It was the chance I got to connect with a person I hardly knew by relating through a mutual struggle, yet connecting through the moments I felt I had overcome said difficulties. It was the words between myself and a set of parents I didn’t know at all who are new to the world of eating disorders and full of the fears and questions most caretakers have of their loved ones who suffer, the words which gave them enough comfort to offer me hugs and the wisdom I wished someone would have had for my family when we first fought our way through the mines of my mind, those which reminded me of my progress. It was the sitting with an old friend and hearing her excitement over the bucket list she’d created for her life free of this disorder, the moments we shared dreaming of the days when we’re both free enough to explore outside of a treatment setting. It was all of these interactions which made me hope to spread the importance of connection.
And, still, a couple of days ago, I was again sparked with energy to blog about the simple necessity to nourish in that connection. When I felt myself falling and chose to pick myself up with my food, rather than the more familiar routine of pushing myself further down with that very thing. In the midst of a wave of depression, I got myself to my people and let the rest unfold by enjoying pretty much a bit of everything on a fantastic menu, as well as conversations that took myself out of the depths of my conflicts and into the reality of day-to-day life. Home-made peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes, palenta and coconut tea, and laughing over videos on instagram is its own form of therapy.
All of these things happened, and probably more, and time passed as it does, and life got busy as it does, and I didn’t get a chance to share any of it until now. Yet, as I sat down to write today, it wasn’t these that banged on the forefront of my skull. It was the congruence I’ve felt more recently in my actions. This past week, I’ve been following a gain meal plan, one I’ve resisted for a while, and this resistance I attempted to integrate into myself. In letting myself surrender once again, I have felt the uproar of my unhealthy thoughts and the rattle in my sanity, but, primarily, I have discovered the sanctity in knowing my actions are those of the self I define myself by, not that of my eating disorder. It is in the relationships I can see this. It is in the way I can show up without hiding. And then I realized, it’s all the same. It is in following my meal plan that all of the above insights arose. And, so, though every single thing I’ve felt since I last wrote was vital to my happiness and fullness, it was the feeling of it that gave it truth.
In my past, I’ve found it nearly impossible to drop head to heart, but it is exactly that which can only come through eating all of my food, not some of it. For others, it might be in following a conscience that may conflict with parts of oneself that have developed in life. It may be in making the hard decision to end a relationship that benefits you, but doesn’t make you feel good. It might be in quitting a job that makes a lot of money, but doesn’t make you happy. One could see this in smaller things: deciding to relax rather than go to the gym, choosing to paint over cleaning, or writing a letter to a friend instead of watching TV for the fourth hour in a row. No answer is right, but it’s the getting rid of the “should’s” and listening more to the soul, feeding the parts of oneself that you hope to grow. At the end of the day, it is the spell behind the wand. Any person can go through the motions, but without the energy and intention, all else will fall flat.