i've been seeing dr. tom for going on two years now.
two years of ned being bearable. manageable.
partial recovery, this is called.
and so at the start of the new year, i decided it was time. time to recover just a little bit more. to push the partial more towards... full.
and so i agreed. to give in to all forms of treatment and thus learn to stand in front of a mirror and describe my body in neutral terms. when told of this treatment two years ago, i thought what fresh hell is this? occasionally over our time together Tom would bring it up--this mirror exposure thing as he called it--but one withering glance and he knew to let it rest for a while. when i am ready i thought. not before. not after.
but this new year brought new and unexpected courage. and i remembered a director in school who would say do things long before or long after you are ready. never at the moment.
and so, okay, i thought, before, before.
five times i stood in front of the mirror. five times i described the gentle slopes, long curves, geometric shapes of which i am made. and it was on the fifth time that i began to cry. and realization slowly unfurled itself.
for so long i have thought this was a battle between me and an eating disorder. and that was it (after all, wasn't that enough?). but now i know. now i know that the other battle is one between the part of myself that wants (needs) to believe in the power of thin and the part of me that recognizes what a small and laughable idea that is!
and so it was there, in front of the mirror, half-naked and tear-stained that i thought: give up. surrender. capitulate. offer this one up to the gods and say this is no longer my battle to fight.
i was toying with this idea. knowing it was in fact the answer, but fighting the last bastions of an eating disorder that claimed diets and counting calories and restricting foods could in fact-would in fact--work, when i picked up everything is illuminated, which has lied dormant on my nightstand (windowsill) for months. and there on the dog-eared page on which i left off,
for how long could we fail until we surrendered?
and there it was. the universe-God-whatever you choose to call it--the Holy Spirit's calming balm to my flailing spirit.
surrender, it is.
and so i surrender. i throw up the white flag. i give in and choose that wiser part of myself. and say what will be, will be. if this is it, then so be it. for love of myself and love of a life that is so much more than this thing (this nasty, nasty weaselly little thing), i. give. up.
but let me be very clear. surrender is in fact a verb. it is an active thing. a daily practice. a daily decision. daily? i lie. a near-constant decision.
because how can i make this clear? it is like... finding a new god to pray to--a new religion, a new set of beliefs. new stars by which to chart my course.
it's not easy. but it's so much better. already. the raising of the white flag. the process of stripping, standing naked and going ok, this is it. this is my body.