OM Report #18: Who I Am Without Being Anorexic

by Rachel Cherwitz  Jan 16, 2012

Written March 2011 while in treatment for anorexia.

We however are not prisoners. No traps or snares are set about us, and there is nothing which should intimidate or worry us. We are set down in life as in the element to which we best correspond, and over and above this we have through thousands of years of accommodation become so like this life, that when we hold still we are, through a happy mimicry, scarcely to be distinguished from all that surrounds us. We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if we could only arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Fear Of The Inexplicable

There is a woman I can see.

She stands in the center of the room speaking confidently. Her shoulders are relaxed, her hair flows down her back, she is smiling with flushed rosy cheeks.

She has a full round ass, perky breasts, and a well-toned body. There is flesh on her bones and color in her face. She can think clearly and quickly. There is a smile on her face and a sparkle in her eye.

She is willing to make a fool of herself in order to know what’s true. She will allow thoughts to tumble onto a page without a thought of what others will think or how it sounds. She doesn’t care about being the smartest person in the room. She is engaged, open, and receptive. There is a feeling of direct experience and approval when she raises her eyes to meet your gaze.

There is a woman I can see.

She is teacher. A leader. She is passionate, loving, and fearless. Her senses are alive and her body is healthy.

There is a woman I can see.

She will write, despite her judgments and resistance. She knows in every crevice of her being that she is right and whole. She is no longer ruled and consumed with her addictions or shame.

Food has become her lover. Her taste buds explode with bursts of exotic flavors and delicacies. There is a sense of ease and comfort around nourishing her body, mind, and spirit. Her weight is stabilized and clothes fit her. Her body has right response and does not ache. She no longer worries about being the thinnest person in the room.

There is a woman I can see.

When push comes to shove, she’s the last one standing. She’ll be in the trenches with you and walk as far as you want to go. She tells the truth and is no longer afraid of her power and her voice. She knows the nine rings of hell like the back of her hand and is not frightened by the nine heavens because she has traveled through them.

There is a woman I can see.

She is a writer, a poet, a lover, and a fighter. She refuses to collapse under weight and pressure. She is willing to slow down and take care of herself.

There is a woman I can see.

When confronted with an eating disorder, she took action. When the weight and pressure of that beast became unbearable, she kept going. She didn’t give up and she never quit. She asked for help and most importantly, she let people love and see her in one of her darkest moments.

There is a woman I can see.

She is fully engaged in her life. She knows the subterranean edges of jealousy, shame, lust, anger, and pain. Love, joy, unadulterated bliss, and friendship. She has made amends for harms caused in the past.

There is a woman I can see.

She is part of a movement. She is a friend, a messenger, and a survivor. There is a wise strength in her eyes and softness to her face.

There is a woman I can see who can say she is deeply loved and cared for. Who touched every luscious drop of intimacy in her life. She didn’t back down or give up. She’s willing to do whatever it takes.

There is a woman I can see who plays for eternal birth and other people’s freedom.

There is a woman I can see who stands in the middle of a room and no longer hides in the corner pretending to be invisible. She is captivating. She moves through the room with grace and humility. She listens and responds to the voice of her desire. She knows what she wants and will go for it unapologetically. Her sex is open and free flowing. Her life is not based on theory, but raw experience.

There is a woman I can see who is no longer bound by the identity of anorexia.

There is a woman I can see whose dragons have turned into princesses.

There is a woman I can see…

This woman is me.