Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Who are you?

So this is my little corner of who I am.  I think there’s some misunderstanding–and I will fall into this trap at times, too–that we are what we do.  But that’s a pretty dangerous assumption, because what happens when, say, you define yourself as a Runner and then get diagnosed with a heart condition and have a cardiologist tell you that you will never run again?  Or when you cling to the identity of an eating disorder and then make all these steps toward recovery and are symptom free and then realize you don’t know who you are?  Basically, the shit hits the fan.

But wait a second . . . everything in this picture is something I do.  I write.  I read and study.  I knit and crochet.  I drink coffee out of Fiestaware mugs.  I collect hearts and Build-A-Bears.  I dance/d and play/ed the piano.  I take pictures.

And yes, I d0 all of these things.  But I do them for a reason.  I write because I love the worlds I create with my words and the feeling I get when writing.  I read and study because I am curious and like gaining knowledge and I love getting lost in a good book.  I knit and crochet because I’m creative and these are outlets for that, and they are also ways I relax and ground myself at times.  Taking pictures has always fascinated me.  I’ve never taken a class in photography, but I love the effects of angles and colors and light and the whole idea of capturing something forever.  Piano used to be an escape for me, and the option is still there, but mainly I just play around right now.  And no, I’m not on pointe anymore.  But that passion will never go away.  And the Build-A-Bear and heart?  Everyone has their obsessions.  I’ve finally found healthy ones.

We all have these things we do, but I don’t think we ask ourselves why we do them.  And maybe if we did, we’d discover other things that we might also enjoy and add to our arsenal of “who we are.”  There will always be room to add things.  And some things may disappear (notice there are no running shoes in this picture).  We are not static people, but changing.  Maybe, right now, I need to let go asking “who the hell am I now that I can’t do all these things because of my heart?”  and just do all the other things I love doing.

In the book Alice in Wonderland, Alice changes sizes twelve times.  (I think that’s the right number.)  Imagine growing too big to fit in a house and then shrinking to the size of a lizard?  If she came out of it all right, I think we can manage this.


March 28, 2010 - Posted by | Eating Disorders, identity, recovery | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. awesome post. and i love the alice in wonderland reference at the end.

    Comment by paxton | March 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. Yes, Paul, anti-depressants do work. I have struggled with Bipolar Type I since I was 12 and I know for a fact that they make a very significant difference in the quality of my life.

    Comment by surfacingaftersilence | April 28, 2010 | Reply

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