It’s “later” . . .

If you’ve made it to the “About Me” page at the top of my blog, you know a basic outline of, well, me. Since I am a big part of why I’m blogging, I’ll attempt to shade in the outline a bit, to give you a little background. Otherwise, you might get lost in the blatherings and rantings. Not your fault . . . I generally need a map to my mind, too.

The main reason I decided to start a blog has to do with a little fucker named ED. If you haven’t spent half your life in support groups, and are unfamiliar with the writings of Jenni Schaefer, ED is an acronym for “eating disorder”. For 15 years, more than half my life, I’ve battled many incarnations of ED, mostly anorexia. I’ve been hospitalized twice, and am currently fighting to keep it from being a three-peat. This particular relapse has pretty much stripped any semblance of a life from me (some would be surprised to know I ever actually HAD a life to begin with), and left me with a lot of time on my hands. As I mentioned in my last post, my time-laden hands have spent a lot of time on my computer keyboard, surfing the internet (internet surfing is ok, cuz it doesn’t count as exercise).

The internet, like most media, is full of what we in the ED world refer to as “triggers” . . . things that make us generally feel like shit, and either inspire or encourage the symptoms and behaviors associated with our disease. In another time, I would have accepted these crazy-makers as a part of life and listened to their propaganda as truth. Yes, evil media machine, I WILL starve myself, because it DOES look like that 12-year-old heroin-addicted model has a better life than I do . . .

Nowadays, while the 12-year-old probably still does have more fun, I’m ready to fight back. Eating disorders are notoriously shame-inducing, which means that most of us who suffer from them do it in silence. I listened to people for years who told me my acting career would be over if I “came out of the closet”. Well, my acting career is now over (on my terms) so I don’t have to shut up anymore.

If I can use my voice (which, I might add, has been trained some of the best vocal coaches in the business) to speak for those who still are imprisoned by their shame, to shed a light on a rather dark disease, and be a catalyst for change in the way the world looks at its round belly (located somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, if my geographic memory is correct), then maybe something good can come from the “not good” years.

In the words of Miguel de Cervantes, as his character Don Quixote, in the musical Man of La Mancha (you’ll get a lot of theatre references in this blog . . . deal with it), “This is my quest . . . ” Won’t you be my Sancho Panza? Or at least the teenager forced to read Don Quixote in high school English? I promise not to ask for a book report . . .

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2 Comments

Filed under History Lessons

2 responses to “It’s “later” . . .

  1. lizaanded

    Thank goodness for people like Jenni Schaefer, and people like you, who make an effort to explain ED. I’ve only been involved with ED for five years, but that’s still nearly a third of my life. Unfortunately, that’s long enough to prevent me from even considering following my dream of having an acting career. Hopefully, in some far-off century, people will be able to talk about ED and not hide in the shadows–not hide behind screen names like I am forced to. Even though we girls–and boys–who have had the misfortune of falling in love with ED will never truly get to live our dreams, maybe we will find a way to make life worth living.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m sorry you’ve been struggling for so long. Any length of struggle is too long in my books. I feel like I should clarify something, though: my decision to “retire” from acting isn’t (entirely) due to my eating disorder. I realized that I don’t like the life of a theatrical gypsy, bouncing from job to job, and place to place with no guarantees of what tomorrow would bring. That sense of unease has been a pattern in my life, and I used ED to try and control the anxiety it caused, giving myself some sense of stability in my otherwise unstable life. I don’t consider myself having given up on my dreams, just looking for new ones. I fully believe that I will find a life worth living, and that you will too. If you want to be an actress, I say go for it. You can absolutely change the world by showing what a healthy actress can be, whether you choose to talk about your illness or not. Break a leg!

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