Saturday, March 25, 2017

"You seem... brighter," she tells me, as we sit across from each other in her office. I am sitting cross-legged on a blue couch, fidgeting with necklace that I was given up graduation from the treatment center. 

"I've felt it too," I say, "Something has shifted."

It's been two weeks since I left treatment, two weeks of fear and uncertainty and change, but, somehow, two weeks of staying the path of recovery. 

This is a strange new world, like emerging from a fog and not remembering what it felt like to be able to see clearly, trying to navigate this landscape with new eyes. I am used to stumbling around in the dark / I am used to the phrase "you can't see it now, but there is hope" / I am used to having to trust the words of others, having move forward despite not knowing or seeing or tasting freedom myself. 

But in this place, this uncharted territory of recovery and health, I feel an unexplainable sense of peace and centeredness. 

There was a time in the not so distant past when the very idea of hope seemed dangerous, too delicate to trust, too flimsy to grasp onto. The word itself tasted strange on my tongue, like it didn't belong in this worn-down body. And somehow, somehow I am here, now, letting hope, that scariest of words, flood my being / run it's wild course through my veins. It's not that I'm suddenly sunshine and rainbows about life - that will never be my story. But hope doesn't seem quite so foreign now, quite so terrifying and far off. 

I'm not sure how to live anymore. 

Ten years of the disease and suddenly it's like I've woken up from a dream to find myself in Life again. There is no roadmap for where to go from here, how to learn to take my first steps again, speak my first words, start over in the process of being human. 

I should be more afraid than I am right now.

There is so much that could fall through, go terribly wrong. This is a place of complete unknown, territory I have never treaded before. 

And yet I feel an overwhelming sense of calm. 

I am finally living in line with my own self, my soul no longer in chaos or dissonance from living against my very heart. 

That's not to say I'll never struggle again, or never fall back into the waiting arms of the eating disorder.  I am not naive enough to believe the fight is won. The temptation is still present at every meal and I don't know that that will ever fully go away. But the pull of Life is stronger right now, and it is resurrecting me.

I don't remember the last time I felt hopeful, the last time I felt grounded and at a peace, but I think I might just like it.