Tag Archives: Travel

An Eating Disorder Parable

That’s right. Not a song title. And the use of a word that harkens back to my über-religious past.

I am SO not Jesus, but here goes.

Something happens. Or a lot of somethings happen. She decides that the only thing that will make her life liveable is walking in the desert, as far as she can go.

The sun beats down, but the blistering of her skin mirrors the pain in her heart, so she embraces it and keeps walking.

There is no water, but the burning in her throat distracts her from the thoughts tumbling through her head.

The sand is difficult to walk on, and she is soon tired, but her only option is to walk on, so on she walks.

One day, she reaches what must be the middle of the desert. Her skin is raw, her throat is parched, and she can’t keep walking: she can’t stand anymore.

She sits and weighs her options. If she keeps walking onward, her circumstances won’t change and she will likely die. She will be tormented by her reasons for walking until the end. If she decides to return to civilization, the pain of the desert will end, but she will have to face everything she’s been walking away from.

She realizes that no matter how far she walks, her problems walk right alongside her. She can’t escape them. She decides that it might be worth it, going back. Maybe if she faces her problems head on, she’ll finally be free. If it’s too much, she can always walk back into the desert.

She’s made the choice. Shouldn’t it be over now?

No. She still has a long journey to make. Her footprints in the sand have blown away, so finding her way back is difficult. Sometimes she stops. Sometimes she has to crawl. Sometimes she walks backwards, but it doesn’t help, so she turns around again. It isn’t easy. Along the way, however, she notices things she didn’t notice before when she was stuck in her head. She finds an oasis that offers shade and water. A fellow traveller offers her a canteen so she can carry water with her. The journey back is difficult, but it is made easier when she recognizes and accepts the help offered her.

She returns to civilization to face her problems. Now, she finds, she is a little stronger for her journey. Her skin is a little thicker. Her problems are still large and daunting, but she is better equipped to deal with them. Sometimes she has to take a walk in the desert to survive, but the sunburn and the thirst and the exhaustion are enough to remind her of why she turned around.

One day, she looks out on the desert and realizes she doesn’t need it anymore. She can live in civilization and deal with things that come her way. She is stronger. She is free.

Maybe not today, but someday.





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Filed under Blatherings, Fighting Fear, Inspiration

Day 5 – Happiness isn’t a destination; it’s a manner of travel

“6 Places You Want To Go”

I talked in my last post about wanting to travel. Once money, time, and health are all in line, it’s going to happen. Here are the places I’d most like to go.

1. California. Those who know me best know I’m SO not a California girl. When I go in the sun, I turn as red as my hair. I did, however, live there my first 2 years out of high school, and I absolutely fell in love with the place. Orange County was so sunny and warm and lovely, and I lived down the street from Disneyland . . . what could be better? Plus, my bestie lives there, being a big ol’ superstar, and I miss her very much.

2. New York City. Still a big ol’ theatre nerd, even in my retirement. I’d love to see everything that ever plays on Broadway. I’ve never been there NOT in the dead of winter, so I’d like to give that a whirl. Plus, another good friend lives there, being a big ol’ superstar, and I miss him very much.

3. The British Isles, plus Scotland. This is where my people are from (duh). All I’ve ever seen of England is the airport, and while it was lovely, I’d love to see more of the place where Thomas the 1st set sail for America . . . then a Thomas further down the line moved his son Thomas (who sired my father Thomas) to Canada.

4. France. It just looks lovely, and I speak enough of the language to get by . . .

5. Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. That’s where the aforementioned Choir Olympics took place, and I’d like to do the tour again, NOT as a 15-year-old.

6. Anywhere I can learn something new. Kind of a cop out, I know, but I pretty much want to go everywhere. There is so much to learn from different cultures and the history of different countries, and I want to see and experience as much as I can . . . The warm countries, mostly. Although I can count to 10 in Finnish . . . that could get me a little ways  . . .

That’s my story. Nothing especially angsty in this post . . . tomorrow is “5 foods” . . . I think we can all anticipate a bit of angst in that one . . . Stay tuned. (And it’s not that I don’t want to know where YOU want to travel, but I’ve had precious few comments on the last few. They’re always most welcome)

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Day 4 – I want adventure in the great wide somewhere . . .

Day 4:

“7 Wants”

Want: A Kelly Bag. Not Grace Kelly's life . . . and certainly not the man in the pic.

Wants and needs are scary things . . . they leave me feeling, well, wanting and needy. When I was trying to come up with ANY reason to commit to recovery, I wrote a list of things I wanted to be able to do (or have) that I couldn’t do (or have) while dating ED. While the list has changed (carbs, dairy and junk food are now a part of my meal plan, so therefore no longer wants . . . in fact, they’re DON’T wants a lot of the time . . . ) a lot of them are still worth mentioning.

1. A degree. In spite of spending 6 years in school, I only have a certificate and a diploma, no degree. Because my diploma is in Musical Theatre, it’s really good for nothing else. I always valued earning a degree, but a) it wasn’t necessary for a career in performance and b) there were no degree programs in musical theatre in Canada when I was in school. Having a degree leads directly into . . .

2. A career that makes a difference. I always valued that. The reason I got into theatre was because, as a child, theatre was a manner of escape for me, and I wanted to be a part of showing kids like me what a happy ending could look like. I still want to do something along those lines, just not in the theatre. I think mostly I want to be an activist, and not only show people that a better life is possible, but to help create a better future.

3. I want to own property. I thought I loved the gypsy life that goes along with a life in musical theatre, but I’m learning how much I value stability. I want to have my own place to come home to every night, where I feel safe and have some security. And it would be nice not to have to pay rent forever . . . I’ll take a mortgage over rent any day.

My childhood dog, Walter the Wheaten

4. A dog. I really want a dog. I loved having a dog, and they always make me feel better, even just while walking down the street. I want a rescue dog . . . we can make each others’ lives better. In order to have a dog, I’m gonna need at least a career and a house, because I’ll need money and somewhere I haven’t had to pay a security deposit . . .

5. I want to travel. Again, a career and money would come in handy for this one. Mostly, I need to be relaxed enough in my food etc. rituals to actually go places and eat in restaurants, in front of people, etc . . . It’ll happen someday.

6. I want better relationships all around. Because I’ve had to hide for so long, and lived in fear of abandonment, I’ve always kept people at arm’s length, and my inability to express my true emotions makes all my interactions pretty surface level. Once I don’t have my eating disorder symptoms to protect me and keep me numbed out, I hope all my relationships will improve.

7. I feel like the last one should be fun and frivolous. I want to win the lottery! If I won the lottery, I could pay my parents back for treatment, have unlimited sessions with the best therapist ever (mine), do yoga as often as I’m medically cleared to, buy property, pay tuition, travel, afford a dog, start an eating disorder charity, and afford to buy a new wardrobe every time I go up a size in this fucked up process . . . and I would buy a Kelly bag. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I need a Kelly bag.

Hey. You. What do YOU want?

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