becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.

amtrak musings

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my flight from kentucky got into hartford at 4pm on sunday.  my train for baltimore left at 8pm on monday.  I got into baltimore at two o’clock this morning, for a 10am exam, but that’s besides the point.  until my seat buddy got off in NYC, I was up and awake(ish), yet had forgotten my french homework, so I had nothing much to do but ramble away on a random word document:

I wish there was a stopping point for recovery, a moment when you know, finally and definitively, that YOU ARE HERE.  a big red X.  bells.  whistles.  something.

I struggled a lot last spring with the notion of not “looking sick,” even though  my vitals were a mess and I felt like hell.  none of that mattered to me, because I felt that I couldn’t possibly be in bad shape or in any danger, because I was horribly fat not visibly ill.

and now, almost an entire year later, I find myself asking, “what does recovery look like?”  from my perspective and from others’.

what do people see in me, now, that they didn’t see when I was sick?  do my eyes sparkle more?  do I have a little bit more bounce in my step?  is my hair shinier, does my body look stronger and healthier?

do I look recovered?

and from my standpoint: what will the world look like through recovery-tinted glasses?  have I seen that world already, caught glimpses of it?  or am I so far from it I wouldn’t know it if I did happen upon it?

even though I’m admittedly struggling more in recent weeks than I was last semester and even into the very beginning of the new year, I still experience these flashes of unbridled joy of being.  surges of absolute ecstasy just at the wonder of being alive.

is that recovery?  or is that caffeine?

how will I know I’ve reached the point where I can honestly say, “I no longer have an eating disorder?”  what are the criterion for absolute recovery, for achieving Recovered Status?  I haven’t made myself throw up in over ten months; does that put me one step closer to the checkered flag?  because even thought the behavior might not be there, my mind is still a constant hamster wheel.  and that has to count (discount?) for something.  but how much?  how do I know?  when do I know?  who’s call is it?  am I ever going to have the definite answer I’m looking for?

today is five years since the last time I cut myself.  I can put a date on that.  my recovery from self-harm, my sobriety as it were, began five years ago today.  I have not cut myself since, and therefore I consider myself a recovered cutter.  even though I still, once in a blue moon, get blindsided by an urge so strong it takes my breath away…I haven’t cut myself in five years, and I don’t plan on doing so.

there is no convenient sobriety date for my eating disorder.  because even if I know the last time I made myself throw up was april 12, 2009, a day doesn’t go by where I don’t think about bingeing or purging or restricting.  usually, I can’t even make it through a day without some sort of eating disordered behavior.  and if the behavior isn’t there, the incessant thinking is.  the number mill in my brain, the bargaining I do with myself, the constant internal dialogues between my bulimic jekyll and hyde,

I could go another ten months without seeing the inside of a toilet bowl and would still never consider myself recovered.  recovery, for all of the wonder and awe it inspires, can not be like this.  I refuse to believe that I have fought this long and this hard to come to find that the end prize is this. because this is not a prize.  this is not a life, dammit.  this is…merely existing.  and not even doing that well, or at the very least, with any zeal.

and I guess I’m left right where I began: wondering.  what does recovery look like, what does it feel like, how do you know you’re there?  does one ever get there–will *I* ever find myself there?

these ramblings brought to you by sleep deprivation, a lack of academic work because I left it ll on my bed, and the simple fact that I’ve been mulling over this in my head for weeks and finally had the time to get it out.


Author: jenn

impossible to define; indefinitely impossible. maybe i'll add more here later.

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