Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

perspective


and this would be?

I’ve been working on perspective lately.  This kind of goes back to the idea of the old me/new me idea.  I used to like having a narrow focus.  I had my blinders on.  If something was irrelevant to the task at hand, it was completely irrelevant.  Me writing a paper involved me writing a paper.  Simple.  Me studying for a test meant me studying for a test.  Still simple.  I had a list of things to do–a list of things I must do–and I did those things.  Check. Check. Check.  Simple.

I still have a To Do list.  I don’t know of a grad student who doesn’t, even if it’s just etched in memory.  It’s always there–that list of things to get done, and to some degree, have to get done.  But I am no longer afforded the luxury of hyper-focusing on each item of my list.  My physical body is just not up to it.  It takes a great degree of energy.

I am learning to step back and look at the whole.  To breath for a few minutes.  To give myself permission to hate the task at hand and be angry that I have to do it while knowing that I really have to just sit down and do it already–and still I take the time to step back and breathe.  I play with my cats.  I am, however slowly, learning how relationships fit into this picture.  I am trying to expand my bubble, so that I see more of the world around me than my little corner.

I have to say I don’t like it.  It’s not comfortable.  I can look at the picture to the left and say exactly what it is and where it belongs.  I took that picture.  I can look at a sentence of Latin and feel this weird comfort that I translated it and it fits in this letter and what once had no meaning now holds a lot of meaning.  Expanding my bubble, opening my lens and getting a wider view–it takes trust.  Trust that I won’t fall flat on my face.  Trust that others won’t laugh if/when I do.  Trust that others will not hurt me with the intent to hurt me–or even without the intent to hurt me.

My eating disorder was my world pared down to the slice of a single apple.  I understood that slice of apple.  But I really had no idea how the apple fit into the larger picture, and so I stayed fixated one that one slice.  And missed out on so much.  In the big picture, that slice of apple is lost.  There are people to love, places to go, books to write, cats to curl up and nap with, and a place in the world reserved just for me that I get to discover.  None of that could happen until I let go of the apple.

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September 15, 2010 - Posted by | Eating Disorders, faith, identity, recovery | , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. “My eating disorder was my world pared down to the slice of a single apple. I understood that slice of apple. But I really had no idea how the apple fit into the larger picture, and so I stayed fixated one that one slice. And missed out on so much. In the big picture, that slice of apple is lost. There are people to love, places to go, books to write, cats to curl up and nap with, and a place in the world reserved just for me that I get to discover. None of that could happen until I let go of the apple.”

    you are amazing. seriously.

    Comment by anon | September 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. I agree with the above post. You are incredible Alexis- and seeing how much you have grown over these past several months-since I have known you has been particularly admirable! I hope you are proud of all the strides you have made. I feel like everything you say is just a few steps ahead of me- and you are able to articulate it so well! I love the apple analogy. New,crisp, and unique 🙂 I wish you were back in DC so we could grab coffee.

    Comment by Jessica | September 15, 2010 | Reply


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