Archive for August, 2012

Regrets? I’ve had…more than a few

Let’s be honest here. I would be a liar, with my eating-disorder history, to say I’d only had a few regrets during this journey. During a recent trip to my homeland, I was unexpectedly confronted with this reality, though generally I’ve been pretty good about accepting “what is”.

During a drive to Vermont, I passed the exit for Marlboro and remembered have gone to visit the College there some…30? years ago with my Aunt. I was excited, it seemed like exactly the place I wanted and needed to be, but something inside held me back. The next day, or perhaps in that same thought, I remembered that I’d had a partial scholarship to Binghamton University after graduating High School, but I didn’t see how I could get there.

I wonder at the lasting effects of the trauma in my life, which led me to doubt that I deserve, to resign myself to the fact that certain doors were closed to me. Now I ask myself, what would have been necessary? What could have helped me say: “Okay, I don’t have the money, but there must be some way to get there!”

On the same trip, I met an old friend. We’d had a crush on each other way back in Elementary School, but neither of us had said a word. We got to talking about a concert that his band had played at the local college, back in the early 80’s. I remembered that night. We had talked, but even then were both too cautious to let on that there might be more interest on a different level. What would have happened, if one of us had found the courage to say something?

At this point in my life, I’ve had ample opportunity to learn to accept what is, to treasure it, and to trust that things are the way they were meant to be. Life is full of opportunities. I believe that each of us has his or her own destiny, yet we have the freedom to make choices — and then see what happens and work with that. It takes courage and trust, both of which I have learned to consciously integrate into my life during the past years.

Life has given me some bitter lessons, but I have learned a great deal. Gratitude fills me as I approach my 50th birthday and know: “Every day is a new day, a new chance to begin.” So I am full of hope and anticipation as to what this new year of life will bring. But there’s still a good month to go — and who knows what will happen in the meantime?! Yes, there are some regrets, some things I would do differently, but I only know that now! And now I have the opportunity to make decisions, to choose where I want to go, and I’ll see what happens. 🙂

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August 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm Leave a comment

A spider’s reality

She said her name is Cindy and she doesn’t bite. Some of you may be wondering, “What does a spider have in common with eating disorders? Or has Martha totally lost her mind?” Well, it all started a few days ago. On Monday. I had the privilege of watching Cindy spin her first web on my balcony, and was simply fasinated to watch her work. It was truly beautiful to observe her. When she was all finished, my cat came outside. He turned around, and wish a swish of his tail destroyed her work. I felt really sorry for her, but there was nothing I could do.

The next morning I discovered that she had been busy over night. She had spun a new web, bigger and more beautiful, and higher up. Yes, she had learned about the perils of low webs and incorporated that into her life. In the dazzling sun, I found it beautiful and took these pictures. I planned to write a blog post about it as a source of encouragement. She’d worked so hard, had her work destroyed, but didn’t despair. She spun something even better. However, intuition told me to wait.

Towards afternoon I’d noticed that she’d enjoyed a few delicacies. Late afternoon I was devastated to discover that her web had once again been destroyed. No, this time it wasn’t the cat. It had been rather windy. She lay there in the remnants of her web and I wondered: “Is she digesting her food? Is she tired? Or, could it be that she’s depressed?” I don’t think spiders get depressed.

This morning I was absolutely delighted to discover yet a new web. It was better, bigger, stronger than the previous ones. I laughed at myself: “How can I be so happy about a spider’s web?” When I came home during my lunch break, I sat outside and admired her web. A pretty white butterfly had settled on the lavender for a bit, then fluttered around. For a moment I was concerned. “Oh, please pretty butterfly, don’t vall victim to the web!” But then I realized that life takes its course, and I shouldn’t interfere. Nevertheless, I breathed a sigh of relief as it flew by the web without getting caught.

This little story and distraction illustrate a few things. The spider works hard and nourishes herself, which gives her energy to work again. But she also lets herself rest, gather her energy and digest her food. And even though life gives her some hard blows, she just goes about her work and does what she needs to do, doesn’t question her ability or whether or not she deserves this kind of treatment. She assesses the situation, takes action, and leaves the rest up to the universe, I imagine.

Where’s the connection to eating disorders? Well, okay, I admit, I am kind of stretching it, but I think her coping, sense of purpose, working with what is and always doing her best are things I learned about during the course of recovery. 😉

August 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm Leave a comment


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