It's been a long time since I've felt this hopeful, I tell her, closer to the side of LIFE than DEATH, drowning a little bit less these days. But even with that, my heart and mind are still in chaos.
I'm doing the hard work of showing up everyday and eating my food and feeling my feelings and wrestling to find my own truths about who I am and how the world works. But the process of healing hurts: I am balled up on the floor sobbing, trying to catch my breath as the pain floods my body, because feeling my emotions again, not being numb to the world, allowing myself to process the heartache that comes from being in relationship with other human beings is hard. And I am not sure I am strong enough.
"Have I made any progress at all since I've been in treatment?" I ask her, feeling like the tension will never end, that this is push-pull between hope and the siren song of sickness will be my forever fate.
But I feel it, even before she responds. I feel the internal shift, from the first day I walked through the doors of the treatment center resigned to hopelessness and death, to the present, contemplating what my life could look like beyond this cage of darkness and depression and disorders.
And I thought it would feel better: I though that finding bits of hope and nourishing my body - going against the eating disorder - meant I would feel motivated and happy, not enveloped by sadness and grief, constantly conflicted between the voice of the Monster in my head and my own true self. I though that allowing myself to be human, to feel again and let down my guard and allow people in would be bright & shiny, all rainbows and butterflies and happiness. But instead it's messy and gritty and doesn't fit easily into a nice clean box.
So here I am, unmoored and unsure, with nothing solid to hold onto, no point of reference for direction. If this is being human, I don't think I want it. I don't want the heartache and the grief and loss, don't want the fear, ever-present and overpowering.
This is the most uncomfortable place to be, half in and half out, moving towards my values but not alive quite yet, still sleepwalking through my days. When does the good part come? When do I reach the other side - or am I fated to stay in this tug-of-war forever? Where is the light at the end of the tunnel - or will it always be taking steps forward in blind faith?
The heaviness pulls me under today and I want to lay down and never open my eyes again. Happiness seems like a myth repeated through the generations to keep up our spirits, a far-fetched illusion to get us through our days without falling into utter despair. This mixture of emotions, hope and grief, longing and fear, is throwing me into chaos. I need a compass / some guide through the fog, because I want to tear these feelings out of me, dig out the dissonance and chaos and replace them with peace and centeredness and purpose. It doesn't seem like I will ever find my way out of this. I feel lost and displaced, like an immigrant in a foreign land, no sense of where I am or where to go from here. I feel so very alone in this messy middle place.