“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.” – Albert Einstein
For years, my prison of delusion included starvation, first emotionally and then physically. Too afraid to take back the reins of my life – those that were wildly flapping in the wind stirred by abandonment and fear – the only thing I felt comfortable controlling was my weight.
I was so afraid to honestly tell people how I was feeling – trapped, sad, lonely, and lost. I was caught in a terrible relationship, one that I did not have the courage to escape. I put in long hours at two jobs, and convinced myself that I would be okay once I saved enough money to get myself out of there. But it didn’t happen fast enough.
I was so deeply depressed, but no one knew. All I wished for was to disappear. I withdrew. I shrunk. I don’t know what I was eating at that time, exactly, but it wasn’t much. Without the time or energy to work out, my metabolism did the hard work for me. I just didn’t feed it.
I became as close to nothing as I could, physically. Bones protruding, my clothes hung on me, and I felt disgusting but dedicated to my only cause: to fade away slowly. That way, there wouldn’t be a fight.
He kept telling me I was beautiful. And that’s when I realized he didn’t really love me.
His love didn’t care about my health, only my presence. But it was then that I decided I cared about my health. I got angry. It must have been a slow burning anger, because it is still with me today – 8 years later. It is what fuels my long training runs, and my hope is that it will sustain my determination for the length of a marathon. That anger gets me out of bed in the early mornings. I celebrate that anger when I achieve a mindful peace in a yoga class.
Since escaping that life, having a strong and capable body is my priority.
I changed that story, and it truly changed my life. I know I’m lucky that my body hasn’t betrayed in retribution for the punishment I inflicted on it in 2005. But I’ve also learned a lot about its resilience; and my own.