Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Choose Life

The road less traveled is a hard one to drive.

It’s unpredictable, full of doubt, full of forks where no one can tell you which way to take. In fact the road less traveled is more of a tunnel, through which you must blindly feel your way and trust that you will finally round one of the twists and see the light at the end.

Except the road less traveled is unique, in that the people on the mainstream highway like to tell you you’re doing it wrong. So do the people at the beginning, deciding whether to cruise on the highway or fumble in the dark. And so does your constant companion, that abusive lover you’re looking to lose in the darkness, your ED.

The funny thing is, they all use the same damn arguments.

Which makes it harder in a way. Anyone who hasn’t experienced it has no idea how hard it is to hear someone tell you the exact thing your ED wants to hear. Look at you, bingeing on cake and cookies and eating thousands of calories in one sitting, every single day. Pigging out whenever you get the chance, just because you feel like it. Eating because you have nothing better to do. Aren’t you afraid you’re never going to stop? Is one cookie ever going to cut it? How is that even possible?

ED LOVES this. The perfect excuse to run back screaming and crying to the beginning of the tunnel and head for the highway. To stop eating, to start exercising, to lose this awful weight I have gained and prevent gaining the weight that is yet to come.

But there’s something oddly comforting in knowing that the majority of people are simply parroting ED. Because the single biggest thing I have learned so far in this pitch-black tunnel, is that ED is wrong. It lies, it cheats, it steals, it does everything in its power to get its way. Its sole goal is to hurt you, to get you to doubt yourself, to take away your identity and replace it with some sick sort of robot. Your thoughts are not your own. I have finally experienced my own thoughts, thanks to this long dark tunnel, and that is a gift I’m starting to realize that precious few people actually get.

So yes, every time I hear my own fears thrown back in my face by someone else, I have a moment of panic. OK, maybe more than a moment, but you get the idea. But I am stronger than that, I have faith in this process, and I am not giving up just because someone else refuses to believe. I’m not going to walk down the aisles at the grocery store, drooling at all the delicious desserts and potato chips and bread but refusing to buy it because I am afraid of having it in my house. I’m not going to live in fear of chocolate chip cookies. I’m not going to condemn myself to a life of not being able to function in social situations because I can’t order a plate of broccoli for dinner or because I freak out at eating a slice of cake at my own birthday party. That is not living. That is existing.

I am no longer existing. I am no longer on track to die before 40, if I am lucky. I am no longer a heart-attack risk at 22.

I am what society would consider a fat, lazy pig. I am what I would have considered fat just two months ago. I am “overweight.” And I don’t even care. I am free and that’s what matters. “Fat” and free is better than thin and miserable. I am throwing everything society believes right down the toilet, and you know what? I think it scares them.

So be it. Let them be scared, let them get defensive, let them voice their doubts as much as they want. I am not doing this for them. I am doing it for me. I choose life.
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