MAY 15, 2018: “A Love Song From A Dragon” …

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~ by The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~

CREATURES

Never again, never give in, never give in. Never again, never give in, never give in. I wouldn’t wish this on just anyone, but you seem to share my impulse. I wouldn’t take this from just anyone, but you seem to like the result. I’ll connect the dots and you can tell me when to stop. I’d rather keep on going than be something that I’m not. We’re creatures of habit, we can’t live without it. We don’t have to answer to anyone. We’re chasing the rabbit, like creatures of habit, and no one else knows where we’re coming from. And nothing’s ever gonna change, ’cause I ain’t gonna run away. There’s no need to panic, ’cause you’re just as tragic. We’re creatures of habit, we don’t have to answer to anyone. I’m not amused by just anything, but under the circumstances (never again, never give in)! You be the recluse. I will defend you when you’ve used up all your chances. I’ll connect the dots and you can tell me when to stop. I’d rather keep on going than be something that I’m not. We’re creatures of habit, we can’t live without it. We don’t have to answer to anyone. We’re chasing the rabbit, like creatures of habit, and no one else knows where we’re coming from. And nothing’s ever gonna change, ’cause I ain’t gonna run away. There’s no need to panic, ’cause you’re just as tragic. We’re creatures of habit, we don’t have to answer to anyone. {Shinedown}

I heard this song for the first time today and it literally punched me in face. Stung me. Broke me. Devoured me. Well, almost! While I was certain I understood the message being conveyed, I went ahead and did some digging and found this on a Shinedown lyrics page:

CREATURES”, in the progression of a person from dark to light, is the first part of the actual transition. This is where the person begins to shed all of the negativity that has held them in such a dark emotional state, breaking free from the human nature and animal instincts we all have that keeps us trapped, repeating the same mistakes.

EXACTLY! It was is if She were singing to me Herself – my very best friend and nemesis for 19 years who literally tried to murder me: The Dragon that was blocking my Light! Ironically, it was ten years ago this month when I finally set my tired, dragging feet upon the THE MOST UNFORGIVING BATTLEFIELD OF MY LIFE: “Me v. Her” …

I never thought I would be one of those women who let an eating disorder control every aspect of their lives and I certainly don’t believe in “statistics”. I’ve known long well that none of this was ever about the food, but rather, some pathetic attempt to continually purge myself of a lifetime of shame, guilt and rage. It was about some sick sense of order I thought I was maintaining over the contradiction which had become “me”: My Rules; My Choices; My Food; My Control!  (Or so I thought!)

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked what it was like living with an eating disorder, but no words could ever do it justice. “Why didn’t you just stop doing it? “Why WOULD you do it? You’ve always looked so healthy.Umm, that‘s not quite how it works, but meanwhile, and again, do you know she could have killed me? Whether it’s attempting to mutilate your physical body or “the creatures living in your mind“, as far as I’m concerned, eating disorders are nothing less than passive attempts at suicide, and the words to this song say it all.

For the record, and in case you’ve ever wondered, it’s never really “over”! I am here to tell you that eating disorders have no cureonly quiet remission. Even as healthy and strong as I’ve now become, She has never actually left me, nor do I think She ever will. As is par for the course with any addiction “dragon” that a human being can face, be it drugs, alcohol, toxic environments, and “food”, I just say “She’s dormant now”, lying in wait for the rest of my life, such that I will always have to be careful not to awaken her. In the meantime, I remain eternally humbled and grateful that I somehow managed to survive her and am alive today to tell you about it. Besides, my Mona Lisa is watching all of this, and I will not rest until she is battle born and ready to fight dragons of her own!

“Me v. Her?”

Checkmate … I WON!

Just call me the Dragon Slayer!

NATIONAL EATING DISORDERS HELP PAGE

NAMI – EATING DISORDERS

HELPING SOMEONE WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

Bulimia

APRIL 18, 2017: “With Love, From The Spic” …

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SKIN

Paint yourself a picture of what you wish you looked like. Maybe then they just might feel an ounce of your pain. Come into focus. Step out of the shadows. It’s a losing battle. There’s no need to be ashamed. ‘Cause they don’t even know you, all they see is scars. They don’t see the angel living in your heart. Let them find the real you buried deep within.  Let them know with all you’ve got that you are not your skin. And when they start to judge you, show them your true colors and do on to others as you’d have done to you. Just rise above this. Kill them with your kindness. Ignorance is blindness. They’re the ones that stand to lose.” {Sixx AM}

This meme popped up on my feed today and then washed across my soul, because if I’ve learned anything on this blessed and broken road, it’s this: It’s not our or outward appearances that make us either ugly or beautiful ~ IT’S OUR SOULS THAT DO! Perhaps you’ve already ready my second post, “SUMMER OF 1979: “Under My Scars, where in one fateful moment a very cruel little girl who didn’t even know my name called me a “spic” in front of a gymnasium full of my peers and literally changed the direction of my life and self-esteem forever. You see, I was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where the darker, olive toned skins were the norm and my Native American / Italian coloring blended right in with everyone else’s. But I digress.

The day of the spic and Spann” was the day I began to despise myself and the dark brown skin I wore, and dare I remember the countless hours of my youth spent in a bathtub crying secretly to myself while literally trying to erase my beautiful color with my mom’s kitchen pot scrubbers!

Yup, I absolutely did that! Meanwhile here I am, forty years later, and yes, I’ve finally made peace with the reflection I see in the mirror, the one that had gone missing during so many points of my life and during the darkest years of my life disappeared completely. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t find my image or paint the picture of myself I so desperately needed to connect with.

Well those days are over and guess what? Turns out I’m pretty freaking gorgeous! And no, I’m not being vein, let promise you that! I’m talking about who I really am. Inside. Outside. Brown skin. Tired skin. Worn skin. Inked up skin. Thick days. Skinny days. Happy days. Sad days. Grieving days. Angry days. “Damn, guess I screwed THAT up pretty good, but oh well, the world didn’t end, so I’ll forgive myself now and get over it” kind of days.

The scars under my skin eventually became the catalyst for all of the best parts of who I am … beautifully and wonderously formed … and I couldn’t be any prouder of either my scars or my skin if I tried! They delightfully shroud a fiercely courageous yet delicately empathetic soul that is connected to every point of light I’ve intersected with. I am perfectly imperfect and so are we ALL “beautiful disasters” in our own right. Beauty truly is in the eye of The Beholder my friends, and any eyes judging our books based solely on their covers do not deserve to read them! And oh, one last thing. That girl from the fifth grade? Her name was Lisa and wow did she miss out on getting to know one super cool chic. That would be me! I have long since forgiven her for all the years those careless words of hers carved from deepest parts of my psyche and if I ever see her one day maybe I should thank her. But let me tell you this: That ignorant girl would have been damn lucky to have had the privilege of knowing me! Spic. Lol! Thank you and drive through please. That is all.

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MAY 21, 2008: “In The Light” …

"If No One Believes You Exist ..."
~ from The Phoenix Collaborative Project ~

IN THE LIGHT

I keep trying to find a life, on my own, apart from you. I am the [Queen] of excuses – I’ve got one for every selfish thing I do. The disease of self runs through my blood – It’s a cancer fatal to my soul. Every attempt on my behalf has failed, to bring this sickness under control. Tell me, what’s going on inside of me? I despise my own behavior. This only serves to confirm my suspicions that I’m still a girl in need of a Savior. {D.C. Talk}

THIS SONG IS MY MANTRA, yet how many times have I listened to it? Over and over and over again but I can’t actually swallow the words. Instead I swallow every bit of rage and sadness that is hiding within me and then release it into a dark and obscured oblivion that I cannot find my way out of. My “disease of self” has overtaken my life. My teeth are rotting, my throat is raw, there’s a permanent scar etched across my knuckle, and oh yah, I think I’ve given myself esophageal cancer. My heart is arrhythmic, I feel dizzy when I stand too fast, and I’ve cracked open some blood vessels in my eye. I’m seeing a doctor tomorrow and I think I may have to cop to my little secret for the first time in my life. Dear GOD please give me the courage to be honest! I’ve been locked inside my bathroom every night while my precious daughter sleeps peacefully just footsteps away from the door with this slow and steady process of suicide.

I never thought I would be one of those women who let an eating disorder control every aspect of their lives and I certainly don’t believe in “statistics”. I’ve known long well that this was never about the food, but rather, some pathetic attempt to continually purge myself of a lifetime of guilt, shame and rage. It was the sick sense of order I thought I was maintaining over the contradiction which had become my existence: My Rules; My Choices; My Food; My Control!

I’ve worked so hard to plan my days carefully and carve away my quiet time with her and for more than half my life she’s been the keeper of my deepest and darkest secrets. I’ve trusted her unconditionally with the most painful of my feelings that I could never manage to let surface, yet somehow she has betrayed me. My lifelong confidant brought me a comfort and safety that I’d somehow forgotten to know and satiated even the emptiest places inside my body with a satisfaction of fullness and order. We were euphoric together, and sometimes almost magical, but that calm, quiet happiness we shared never lasted for more than a moment and all too quickly brought the continual shame and self-loathing which is all I can see in a mirror. My euphoria would end, so we’d begin the dance again, to the most hypnotic rhythm of them all.