Today I had a deep and sobering conversation with a dear friend. It is they who are struggling to keep their boat afloat and for the first time in a long time I was the friend who listened and comforted.
The issues surrounding my friend have a lot of pieces to the shattered puzzle and on top of that with the gravity of the world upon her shoulders she is facing having to tell her child that life as the “perfect parent” might not be continuing as the child as known it their entire life.
It brought me back to lots of places of a parent but most searingly to the point three years ago when I was stricken with anorexia that was at its worst and told by a doctor I wasn’t the parent I wanted to be to Bella and nor could I be. In fact, the doctor went on to say that I wasn’t in any position to parent Bella. She continued as she hammered me over the skull with a sledge hammer to inform me it was in Bella’s best interest not to see me in my current state of starvation, as it only made her worry and parentalize me. Meaning in layman’s terms she was taking on the role of parent and worrying about me as if I was the child. I took mostly from the conversation that I was a failure and a burden to my beloved Bella.
Of course that isn’t what I wanted to be or do, so I promised my ex-wife I would step back out of Bella’s everyday life and free her from worry, and my inability to be the parent I so desperately wanted to be.
Those were some really dark times. I love my daughter Bella like nothing else in the world, and I was so distraught at the truth that I couldn’t parent Bella at this time. My anorexia had grown so big and so unyielding that it spilled out of my life and into Bella’s life which was not acceptable. I cried everyday, all the time. I cried for poor Bella, and I cried for myself. Nothing could be so painful as being sidelined as Bella’s parent.
I begged and pleaded with God to take away my pain and the pain sitting on the top of Bella’s shoulders. With true love it doesn’t work that way, and we both had to suffer the consequences of my anorexia. Never have I felt so helpless and guilty for the situation I unknowingly put Bella in. I had grown used to pain and suffering in myself, but the thought of putting it upon my daughter was too much to bear.
I eventually found solace in knowing that Bella was not in pain or stressed about me. It was easier once I accepted my role in Bella’s life as not healthy. I wanted nothing more than for my little girl to feel safe and without worry for me. I was willing to sacrifice my needs and wants with Bella to see that she was a happy, normal kid without me dragging her down.
My friend and I get along so well for so many reasons, but it is the shared love of our children that really is the glue of our friendship. I hurt and ache for my friend right now. Her pain is my pain in a funny sort of way.
I pray for her and her child that things start to turn around soon for them. I don’t know what the future holds for them and if things are going to get worse before they get better for them. I do know where there is love their is hope, and my friend lacks for no love for the world and her child.
It is funny in a sick sort of way how other peoples problems drawn us in to our own lives and pain that we have experienced.
I am so grateful to be where I am at this moment with myself and with Bella. The anorexia has not won and the battle continues. With this past weekend with Bella and sharing in the campaign together, I am mustering up the strength to fight more fiercely and more ultimately. I know there are too many good times that lay ahead for myself and Bella if I can just put this monster of anorexia to sleep once and for all.
As it is now three years later, and I am back to being a mommy to Bella, and coming off a magical weekend together where her dream of working on the Clinton campaign came true with a little help from mom, we were able to make calls to prospective voters to see if they were voting for Hillary. It was amazing, as I set beside her on a phone and she sat next to me with a phone and we worked to see our candidate get closer to getting elected than before. We did this both Saturday and Sunday, and BLISS is the only way to describe it.
Anorexia as a disease robbed me of many things, too numerous to mention, but at the same time as I have slowly recovered I have had so many amazing moments that wouldn’t have been so amazing if they hadn’t been taken away from me at some point by the insidious anorexia.
I am far from a full recovery and that is what I really want to discuss here. Even with partial recovery I am so much more filled with life and living and enjoying moments like this weekend with my Bella. It is hard to go back to the beginning and realize the arduous journey I would so painstakingly traverse on my way around the circle of life and well to enjoy living and life once again.
So much is still eluding me with Bella and in all types of other ways. I think my message here is about lost and found. I lost my life to anorexia and as I recover I celebrate to the high heavens all that is returning to me.
I sit here right now and wonder with the blissful experience of this weekend with Bella, who come I can’t just snap out of my anorexic mindset all together and get on fully with living and celebrating life? I wish I had an answer for this question. I do know that the more I return to normal and weekends spent like this past one with Bella I am urged on inwardly to prevail and overcome whatever next hurdle lays in my pathway to a full recovery.
It wasn’t that long ago I was pretty sure I would not see a full recovery because my mind was so twisted with this disease. After a weekend like this one, I am newly encouraged that I may be able to feed off the bliss and connectedness of sharing life with my loved ones, and maybe, just maybe make a full recovery despite my hesitation and the doubts of those who love me.
Anorexia is so complex and it completely ravages the body, mind, soul, and life of the patient. There have been so many times I wanted to overcome Anorexia and I failed and missed out on really meaningful family stuff that I can’t get back. I have learned not to harbor the past and my failures, but to look ahead to the future and position my mind and body for success that once failed me.
Anorexia is insidious, but I truly believe it can be broken and boxed up and dumped in a far away dumpster that will not let the pain and suffering endured haunt a patient forever and a day.
I am of the belief that the greatest challenge is the first success that a patient experiences with overcoming anorexia. No matter how small or minute it is the seed that gets planted in the healthy psyche you still have for future successes to come your way. We are all different and no two anorexic stories are a like. It is senseless to compare yourself to another anorexic patient in the worst of times and the best of times.
I believe this weekend shared with Bella is a major turning point in my recovery from anorexia. This doesn’t mean I am cured or will not miss other opportunities to succeed but it gave me a sweet taste of life and living it to the max that has eluded all of us with anorexia and will elude us further unless we gain the courage to make a small success that you needn’t even share with anyone else.
Overcoming anorexia is not a competition and I hope that I am not coming across as someone who is out of the darkness. I am far from a recovery where I feel safe to say I am in remission. All I have is today, yesterday and the magic, and the possibilities of tomorrow that are complex and my walls of my disease are not just going to come crumbling down.
I am here to say I am with you in pain and anguish, and I am also here to share in the feats of success whatever and however they may come on your road to recovery.
I have doubted myself as a recovering anorexic for a long time. I believe we must grow our positive thoughts as small as they may be, and let the journey of recovery envelop us as we still stumble, fall, and get back up on the road to well and recovery for everyone of us.
BORN THIS WAY-2016