“Please don’t forget that you were meant to be here, through hard days and sweet years. Through laughter and warm tears, you were meant to be here. You were meant to be here. You were meant to spin through summers, fears and wonders. Trust your heart dear…”- from “You were meant to be” Renee & Friends (featuring Glen Phillips) from the Simpatico Album
My dearest Wee Bee,
I always think long and hard before writing a post for EDAW (Eating Disorders Awareness Week), mostly because I feel as though my words are not just meant for you, but are meant for everyone out there who has heard or still hears the voice of ED, whispering, yelling, shouting that their bodies (and consequently their whole selves) do not fit. That they need to twist and turn and contort to fit. That their bodies (and they) are not meant to be here.
And so, after writing and deleting and writing and deleting this post, which holds so much significance for me, I am choosing, deliberately, not to write about what my battle against ED was like for me, but what life, on the other side of ED, almost eight years out, really means.
Life on the other side means accepting cherry after cherry and sticky sweet pink-iced doughnuts from you, my sweet bee. It means moving my body in ways that I love. It means glancing down at the gentle curve of my belly and feeling only love, not just because it held you for nine months (although I admit this plays a significant part in this love) but also because this belly nourishes me…sustains me…and damn it, I’ve even grown to realize the gentle curve is beautiful. It means dancing…so…much…dancing: down the street; at school; on the subway; in our living room to the theme song from Gilmore Girls; in my kitchen late at night. It means a pink streak in my hair and mismatched socks. It means chipped multi-coloured nail polish from “girls’ nights” with you. It means going out for brunch and lunch and dinner and doughnuts with my friends and family. It means baking gluten-free cookies for breakfast early on a Sunday morning with you and sharing them on the sofa, curled up under a cozy blanket. It means crying, warm tears streaming down my face when I feel sad (because I never used to feel sadness) or when I feel incredibly, blissfully happy (because I never used to feel joy, either). It means feeling grateful every single moment for this life that I have built, postED, and that I continue to build, every single day. It means being able to accept real, unconditional love, because I know I am worthy. Not just from others, but from myself.
And it means, remembering, all the time, that I was meant to be here. We all are. I think we often forget that we are all miracles. We are all meant to be. Living postED means keeping this in my back pocket on days or weeks or months that feel hard. Because sometimes they do feel hard. Sometimes they feel impossible. But the way out is not by holding ED’s hand, as tempting as it might have been in the past. Trying to fit myself and my body into what society says is right, in an effort to feel that I am meant to be here? That’s just not an option anymore. The way out is by holding my own hand, and yours too, and splashing through the puddles that the hard days may bring. As you say: “ready, steady, go!” Here we go, my wee girl.
Always remember: you were meant to be(e).