On the other side of the door

Click, click, click… The familiar sound of the keys, funny enough, sounds a bit foreign… It has indeed been too long… I like to feel the smoothness of the keyboard, the sound as I press down on each key begins to feel more comfortable, inviting even… As if they want me to continue typing, writing, sharing…

It seems to be a pattern for me to start my blog by sharing how much I have missed it… If I love it so much, why do I not blog more often?  Quite truthfully, I just don’t make time for it… I started prioritizing my focus on academia…  Over all, however, I was prioritizing my focus on Ana… (Yes Ana, I am talking about you… shut up and leave me alone)…  As soon as she notices that I talk about her, her voice fires up and she opens  the door to all the dark places in my mind… The beauty of it, nowadays at least, is that I am standing at the opposite side of that door (as oppose to being in there with her, at the edge of that door, wanting to get out but desperately clinging on to her)… On this side, further away from her, I see some light…. I don’t really have the urge to venture past the door (or the urge is not as latent) and lose myself in the deepest corners where she resides… As I sense this new feeling of authority over her, I try to remember how I got here, how did I manage to cross that threshold… To be honest, corny, cliché… I crossed that threshold with love… Love for life, love for my hobbies, love for my time… Love for myself.

It’s odd… It’s difficult to express it… I figured it’d be easier now, now that I can say it out loud… Say it without feeling selfish, ashamed, embarrassed, self conscious or guilty… And yet, I still feel hesitant to write this…

I look back to when I started my masters degree… That’s when I started to feel her getting stronger, I couldn’t fight her, I let her win… I thought she would help me… She always seemed like the best and only option… Two years later- sixteen years later, if I’m being honest- I am finally breaking free, we’re in different sides of that door… that premise where she has taken residence and refuses to leave… where she encompasses all my insecurities and holds all my fears and triggers … Though I am further away from her, we are still holding hands… She still calls to me, she still lures me to where she is… I don’t listen as much anymore, I am stronger and better able to keep her where she belongs… Away from my happiness, away from myself… So what has changed? The answer to that is, again, love… Self love.  To most people it’s obviously simple, I suppose… For me, however, it has been harsh and complicated to accomplish, to admit and to continue to practice… It turns out, as in other relationships, self-love is an everyday practice (an everyday battle for me)… As I continue to type, I begin to feel awfully exposed and vulnerable… as if all my nerve endings were exposed… naked and raw…

I use to hate the reflection in the mirror… I’d be disgusted by it… And her voice would start (still does) to attack that reflection, making me hate it even more… It started as a joke really… A “what would happen if I told myself that I love myself” moment… I plucked up what little courage I could manage to approach the mirror (she gets louder the moment she sees that reflection)… after a few failed attempts to get myself to say those words out loud… I was finally able to say them “I love you, I love myself”… The world stopped, that deep dark hole that consumed me-that filled me with an emptiness that became an abyss within myself, where I felt lost, alone and disconnected- finally began to change, to repair itself… I felt complete, I wasn’t empty anymore… I continued to say them out loud… to my reflection, to myself… And I felt every crevice of my soul healing a little… After so many years of self loathing, self torture… I am finally able to see myself… I was able to breath and not feel like I was becoming undone (as how it felt back then, with your absence, when our story ended)… I can breath in deeply and come back alive…My soul is not empty anymore… And I figured that was it, the end of the drowning darkness where Ana resides, from where she still calls to me… It turned out to be the breaking point of self discovery…
I still struggle with Ana… It’s hard to say no to her, to not listen to her… over all it is quite difficult to stay on my side of the threshold, and keep her at a distance.. She can be so tempting and inviting… But it is a beautiful thing to know that I don’t need her, I don’t want her… To know that I want to break apart from her and discover this new journey of self love and self acceptance… To embrace the defects she hates and constantly points out… To be able to look at myself in the mirror and admit that I love myself, is such a sweet feeling… And though I have just started, and I am aware of how easy it is for me to fall back.. Knowing that she will always be there to catch me, she is always hoping I will go back… a weirdly twisted form of loyalty… As I stand on the other side (scared, excited, hesitantly venturing towards self discovery and self love) I smile, take a deep breath and I realize that, in deed, “to be free is very sweet”…

Work out inhibitions

I have never been a fit girl… In fact my childhood consisted of candy, and taunting (which came from kin and foe) .. As the heaviest of all my cousins and siblings, I was constantly reminded of my weight and how horrible my body looked in comparison to my slender cousins… Mind you I was only 8 when it started.  As I grew into my teens, things got worse and I became a chubby child.  I have all sorts of quotes branded into my brain by my grandparents and aunts and uncles.. even some of my eldest cousins.. Esthetics are rather important in my family… Well, at least in my extended family, my immediate family got a rude awakening to weight problems… By the time I was 15 I got so traumatized by my weight that I looked for a way out.. And I found an eating disorder… Almost 10 years later, I still struggle to keep a healthy weight without losing my mind and without torturing my self.. Of course the taunting has stopped (from my extended family, and from other peers)  Most of the torturing and taunting I have done on myself.. It takes years (specially if your family pesters you about something and does not teach you other wise) to understand that outside opinions, words, and other form of input, can affect you only if YOU allow it.. It took me six years to distance myself from the death trap that an eating disorder can be.. By the time I was 18 my parents finally realized that I was not losing weight but was rather sick and unhealthy, at the verge of becoming seriously ill from it.. At that point, I was no longer allowed to do as I pleased, four years later, I had managed to be at a healthy weight… And above all, I saw the pain and suffering I caused my loved ones, I did not want to inflict pain or hurt them.. That was never my intention, so I stopped and tried my hardest to get out of my Anorexia…  However, till this day, I struggle to see it as” healthy” and not “fat”.. I am still not happy with my body, but, I am not in deadly peril.. Instead of starving and torturing myself, I found a way to be safe and over all reach a goal where I can be fit and happy with my body.. The problem and stress comes when an injury happens and I have to stop working out.. That’s when I go crazy inside my mind.. I do not allow people inside my problem, I don’t want to pester them.. or rather, if I am being honest with myself, I don’t want people to worry and see that pained look in their eyes.. My parents deserve better than that.. and who has heard of a 26 year old with weight/ eating disorder problems… So, naturally, I keep it to myself.. and drown in it.. I need to run and be free of my mind sometimes, so it doesn’t get to me anymore..
A month ago, my back gave me problems and I gained two pounds.. Finally I managed to lose them when I was able to step into the gym again.. Sadly, I cannot run, or at least not outside.. I am constrained to a noisy machine that is repetitive and boring..  But I was getting better, and stronger and could finally work out again. Yesterday, my wrist got injured, and now.. I cannot work out again.. I feel desperate.. and sometimes it is so difficult to hide it.. I keep looking in the mirror and I see the image getting larger… I lose touch between reality and the idealism that haunts me..