Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Age 45

Sometimes it takes a child to voice the truth that needs to be heard. As I watched little Sophia speak her words in the video "Beauty Is Not How Skinny You Can Be," I thought of myself as a little girl much like her and bawled. I was a little girl with long dark hair and light blue eyes, and I loved reading and writing and books and chocolate and kittens. I loved to go to school and sitting in the front row, eager to learn. But as life unfolded, I learned to dislike myself. And one day, I grew up to hate my body and did everything in my power to look and be like someone else. Anybody but me.

I have been trying to recreate myself almost since I was born. I never thought I was beautiful enough. I never thought I was smart enough. And when I got married, I never thought I was good enough for my husband. But the harder I tried to become someone else, the worse things became. Until I was lost.

Anorexia nervosa knew just when to strike. And I then embarked on a new mission to remold my body to society's idea, and I was so successful that I lost sight of everything else. The love of my husband. The friendship of others. Joy and laughter and love became buried by layers of anorexia until I couldn't breathe anymore. It wasn't just my body that became smaller, my soul became smaller.

But as little Sophia says, I am unique and there will never be another me in all the history of the world. So why in the world would I try to look or be like someone else? I am rediscovering myself; my love of writing and reading, of the joy of Celtic music and classic Elton John, of cuddling with my cat and crying because this little girl's message moves me so much I can't hold it back. I have dark curly hair and light blue eyes and my body once was strong and beautiful and it can become that again. I am opinionated and believe strongly in justice for those who can't speak for themselves. I love to study English and poetry and history and the Bible and religion. I am passionately loyal to my friends and would do anything for them. I am stubborn, and my therapist says one of my greatest strengths is that I never give up.

I believe in miracles, and the power of love and hope. I know I can recover from anorexia. I'm just starting to unravel the layers of this cloak of anorexia, but unravel it I will. I have finally learned the key is within me. I just have to unlock the door.