From Darkness to Light / Part 2

Posted on July 30, 2011

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From Darkness to Light / Part 1

Then the war with others began.

I’d succeeded in the battle with my appetite and extreme fatigue. But I had ballet teachers to answer to. That was very confusing because that world required me to be thin anyways. At first there was a push to have us all slim down and not fall prey to the “freshman fifteen.”

When my main ballet teacher started trying to manipulate my weight up and down to her specifications she became my adversary.

Everyone in my life became my enemy.

Friends would take me out to lunch to get me to eat. Guys would stop me and say, ” I’d ask you out if you’d put some meat on those bones!” Believe it or not I LOVED that kind of honesty. I had a really hard time dealing with the quiet manipulations. One ballet teacher brought a group of five dancers up to the University hospital saying that our health was going to be evaluated. I knew full well that I was the only one being evaluated. But, I had to play the game to stay in the dance program. And I’ve never been good at playing games.

For months the obsession to lose weight grew stronger as did the spiritual darkness inside of me. I’d cry alone in my dorm room wishing I could stop the obsessive thoughts and behaviors and get control of my life again. It was all so ironic. By taking control I’d stepped right into the path of evil that wanted to take every bit of my ability to choose away from me.  I slowly came to understand that I was trapped like a fly in a spider web. There was no escape.  People would tell me I was too thin. I would hear jealousy. All I could see looking back at me in the mirror was more of me to make disappear. I was tormented by feelings of despair. And it wasn’t about choice anymore.

I’d lost the ability to choose.

My perceptions of my body, my relationships and life were so warped.

All I knew was if I ate I lost the war, and if I didn’t eat I’d die.

Either way, I was stuck both physically and spiritually.

I had no real idea what was going on with me. How could I know intellectually that I was dangerously thin, but not see that in the mirror?

How could I feel  such anger towards everyone for butting in where they hadn’t been invited, but at the same time wish that someone would step in and take control of my life and save me?

And how could anyone help anyways?

I knew I was loved.

I felt like a good enough person.

All I know is that I chose to run away from my uncomfortable feelings about something by turning away from all types of nourishment and light in my life. Nothing made sense.

About three years into the struggle, a miracle occurred. Even though it was a good thing that was happening, I was very frustrated and angry because without effort on my part I started gaining weight and getting healthy.

I had no idea that the shift in my brain chemistry that came when I got back to a healthier weight was vital to my recovery.

I had to deal very quickly with the loss of control of my body in a different way. I was losing my identity as the skinny girl and it was very hard. It took a long time to get used to and I still have a hard time with it. It’s hard to hear someone comment on how I look because I always compare myself to the person of that era.

But I know the feeling of the trigger being pulled. And I know now that  giving in to the voice that tells me I’d feel better about a certain problem if I stopped eating is just a trick. Over time I’ve relearned to love to eat, and to exercise because it feels good, not just because there’s a goal.

I also learned about  what I call the “other” option. 

This was basically a control issue that got turned upside down in my mind and turned into a battle that couldn’t be won.


From Darkness to Light / Part 3

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