Stranger in a strange place

3 months. That is the amount of time that has passed since I started on this journey. 16 years. That is the amount of time I have lived anorexic. ‘Anorexic’ is far more than just a word, a label, a disease. ‘Anorexic’ has been my sense of identity for over half my life- so many hours have been spent on planning, living, and being anorexic that without it, I am feeling a growing sense of disconnect. Who am I? How do I interact with the world around me? Everything I did up until three months ago, had a purpose derived from anorexia. How I socialized, how I ate, how I isolated myself, how I distracted myself, how I interacted with the world around me… None of which was truly satisfying, but it was familiar. It was me. At least the most dominant aspect of me, in my mind. Those that know of my recent commitment to my health, were seemingly caught off guard when I told them of my health issues. ‘You seem so healthy, you eat so well’… Behind closed doors, though. In my own world, where I was no stranger… Things were different. But I no longer care to be anorexic, and that familiar world is no longer relevant. Perhaps this is what the caterpillar feels like when the cocoon builds up around it… Uncertain, but comfortable enough to brace itself for … Progression. Development. Wings!

Over the years, I have glimpsed aspects of myself that were governed by healthy and happy choices. Times where I have accomplished my greatness… When I held an art gallery, studied yoga intensely for a year and a half with one of the most generous and thought provoking teachers I have met, when I threw caution to the wind and hitch hiked across Canada, going back to school, moving to another province to manage a restaurant… Glimpses of greatness that were shattered by old habits, it was easier to re-establish old patterns than maintain new ones, I suppose.

This time though, I am allowing myself to cocoon. Embracing the uncertainty of ‘who I am’ so that one day, I will fly!

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