Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thirteen

Today, I met a girl.
Thirteen. Bright. Talented. Intelligent. Lovely.

We talked.
We shared.
We drank tea.

I was told we might have a few things in common.
That I could have something to share.
Something worth hearing.
To speak of with wisdom.

She just got out of an intensive eating disorder treatment program.
And indeed, we had a lot to talk about.

I shared my story.
She shared hers.

I hope she was strengthened.
Given hope.
Because I surely was.

Today, roughly seven years removed from my own anorexia diagnosis, I don't think about it that often.
I don't count calories.
I don't fear social gatherings with food.
I don't schedule my life in between my three work-outs per day.
I don't center my life around the hub of an eating disorder any longer.
And it's hard to believe that I once did.
That this was my story.
That I've come this far.

I told her that this is what recovery looks like:
It means settling at a weight I never imagined would feel comfortable, but it does.
It means taking pride in my body for what it can do.
Choosing clothing because it feels good on my body.
Avoiding scales like I avoid snakes.
Choosing to thank people for the compliments they give me.
Often struggling to believe them.
Being disappointed some days at my reflection in the mirror.
Being overjoyed some days at my reflection in the mirror.
Forgetting sometimes that I am more than a body.
Remembering daily that I am a strong, confident, intelligent, beautiful woman.

Recovery looks like re-engaging with my own life.

And looking in her eyes today, I know that she wants that too.
And it will take time.
And transparency.
And guts.
And all the courage she can muster.

But she'll find herself again.
Stronger.
Wiser.
And more whole than she ever was before.









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