Monday, February 2, 2015

One conversation can change it all

One of my favorite stories to tell about how I began to see things differently...

In 2000 I was inpatient at the Renfrew Center of Florida for 32 days.  I spent my 22nd birthday at Renfrew.  I met many wonderful women during my stay but I can't say I was ready to loose my Eating Disorder.  I just went and did what everyone told me to do because I am people pleaser.

One afternoon, I went to the nurses station for my supervised fluids... a glass of Gatorade.  I was always dehydrated.  For what seemed like forever I would have to memorize my first few steps when getting up from a seated or laying position.  Everything would turn black for at least the first 3 or so steps.   I would feel this tingling sensation throughout my body and then my vision would come back again.  I never wanted anyone to know I couldn't see so I would memorize my first 5 steps so I would look like all was good.

I would have to go to the nurses station a couple of times a day for fluids.  There was one nurse there I just adored.  One day we were talking and she looked me right in the eyes and said, "You know life doesn't have to be this way."  I probably said something like... I know... or whatever... acknowledging she said something but not accepting what she said.

I had never heard that before... I never knew that my life was my choice... that it could be something different.  That comment stays in the back of my mind and I pull it out every time I feel like I may be stuck in a life I don't want... or a life that doesn't make me happy.

The first song I wrote about my Eating Disorder (ED) questions the purpose of ED... wondering what it might be like if I didn't have an Eating Disorder.

In October 2001 I moved to Miami Florida and started an outpatient group.  One day I brought in my guitar and shared this song... I wrote it a few days before group.   It was shocking to me that people would listen... understand... and want me to share this song with others.  The therapist running the group wanted me to sing this song for the Miami/Dade NEDAW event in February.  That started a journey of healing in a totally different and public way.

A recording of What It Would Be Like can be found on iTunes


What It Would Be Like

Why can't I live without you; you've never been good for me
Why can't I find the strength and the courage to leave
I have wasted my life, my body, my soul
All to keep you happy and to keep me whole

I feel I'm not worthy of another life
But I can't help but think what it would be like
Do I really need you to make it through the day
Or do you need me to show others the way

Am I meant to be with you every moment of every day
Am I meant to feel lonely when you are away
I don't understand the need, the want, the desire
To stay with someone who cuts me like a knife


One day I'll have the strength
One day I'll have the hope
One day I'll have the life I dreams
And find my way home


I feel I'm not worthy of another life
But I can't help but think what it would be like
I can't help but think what it would be like

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