Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I saw her at Walmart

Her eyes darted nervously from side to side, peaking out from underneath her wispy blond bangs. Her size 2 jeans loose around her waist. Wearing a hoody to hide her shape, she pushed the shopping cart that looked difficult for her to maneuver, exhausted and lonely. I could see her hips bones jutted out beneath her clothing. Her translucent skin was a dead giveaway, this girl is not eating, just like Jenny.

Jenny was a woman I met 2 years ago. She died March '07. Jenny lost her battle with anorexia. I hate even saying that. People say it about cancer victims too, that they lost their battle, like they were all failures or something. Jenny lost her life to an eating disorder, but her life was not lost, becuase I am still writing about it. I will never get the image of Jenny out of my mind for as long as I live. I don't want to.

The instant I saw this woman at Walmart yesterday, I thought, Jenny? No, it wasn't her. But this girl is dying too. I just stared at her as she walked away from me. I wanted to say something, but I didn't. Instead I stood in the aisle for about 10 minutes just watching her, my eyes filling with tears. The tricky thing about eating disorders is that, talking to the person sometimes makes it worse if they haven't accepted it themselves.

I remember a teacher telling me how I was getting too skinny and thinking, Ha, at least someone noticed. Success! Disgustingly, I took it as a compliment.

This woman in Walmart is a reminder to me that I am not done fighting this. The universe may be trying to tell me something.

After a particularly depressing weekend, something needed to change. It is so easy for to me to get stuck in a rut of self-pity and frustration over what my life is right now. Sometimes I just need a good shaking. So, I made a list of things that would make this week more fulfilling.

First, I approached both the vespers coordinator and the newspaper editor about the opportunity to speak and write about things that need to be said at Union college. Complaining about a situation does nothing unless I do something to change it.

Second, I called my dietician to help me straighten out my thoughts and gave me strength for another week. The amoebas in my tummy may not go away for another 6 months. They are causing more problems than I'd like to admit.

I'm great, fantastic, marvelous at filling my day with stuff to do and tasks to complete, but rarely do I schedule fun. So, I made a list of people that make me happy and I'm going to make the effort to be around them more often. The friends I already have, matter deeply to me. They continue to fuel me for the journey.

Writing is therapy. So I vowed to write in my journal every day this week and I have.

Atleast 85% + of the time, I've decided to wear clothes I could easily do yoga in or say, climb a tree. Comfortable clothes are a must. I haven't worn high heels in over 2 years and I'm still boycotting them. Ya know, those must've been invented by some sick man who wanted to attack women in dark allies when they tried to outrun him and sprained their ankles wearing his "trendy" shoes. Well, it's just a theory. Either way, high heels are crap.

Today, I went around campus and started interviewing students passing by. "Do you believe in God?" and "Why?".

This weekend I'm getting some friends together to cook Indian food show pictures from Cambodia.

The last thing yet to do on my list is, Consider getting dread locks. This one might take a bit more time.


Katie said...

Puh-leeeeeze get dreads! They are the only reason I haven't chopped all my hair off again. Your hair would do them so well, and I know mine will not, but I'm growing it out to do it anyway. I hope you can. It would be a brave thing, I know, but I think you'd look pretty dang awesome with 'em. ;)

You're fab, Heather. Really.

M. Shockley said...

"They lost their battle" simply means they are not able to fight anymore, not that they are losers. Anyone who has dearly loved and lost someone to any type of ANYTHING would NEVER classify the people they love as losers.

We all have battles. Some are more easily detected than others.

Hang in, and know that you are loved and prayed for more than you know!