Tuesday, October 5, 2010

the other night...

...i was driving home from my volunteer job, which is in the most charming section of downtown. i was ingesting and loving the scenery and my music and the air of autumn all around me. sometimes when i'm driving i find my mind in a completely capable state of full focus on the road, my music, and my surroundings simultaneously (okay okay, those of you laughing or gasping...maybe the road gets a bit less focus than the rest). it's a euphoric feeling that most often takes place beneath clear skies and dark leaves. it's what makes me love road trips.

i'm not sure when or how it happened- all i remember is my vision sharpening as i halted at a red light. somewhere amidst my savoring the drive to the interstate, my focus had blurred and the height of my senses had dissipated. as my foot pressed the break i realized that my fingertips were encircling the volume knob of my stereo. i was adding up calories and my subconscious was attempting to dim the music in order to maintain focus on the incoming numbers.

although i no longer count calories for the sake of restriction, i still count them on a near daily basis to ensure i don't get more than i need for any given day. it's the same measure of control as before, just less severe.

when i realized what was happening- that i was allowing numbers to take precedence over music- the symbolism floored me.

if my life could be respresented by one giant road trip, then for years i don't think i even had music- or if i did i kept the music or whatever music represents muted so i could immerse myself in the one thing i loved most.

it overjoys me to know that for the most part, i'm free to drive and to listen and to experience without the debilitating effects of my disorder. but now i want to stop turning down the volume when i feel like entertaining a few thoughts of old comfort. it's like selective recovery, which is actually not recovery at all, and non-recovery is not something with which i am interested.

choosing to keep the music up is thinking about every food in a non-judgmental way. it's replacing my self-depricating thoughts with positive ones and looking at every person in relation to themselves and not to me and visa versa. it's still being able to have a good time on the days when my self-image is poor. it's having the presence of mind to pour myself out for someone else because i've not given negative thoughts more than the second it took them to explode into to existence in my head.

just as it's my decision what is worthy and what is not worthy of me muting the music, it is also my decision what is worthy and not worthy of my attention and thoughts. from now on, the music isn't going anywhere unless it's for something that's worth it, and my thoughts and my attention will follow suit.

i'm incredibly comfortable here, knowing i can stop, withdraw, and think "safe" (safe as in eating disordered) thoughts and still stay in recovery.

but just now, seeing those last three words on the screen..."stay in recovery" makes me realize that continuing to think the old thoughts may not throw me back into my disorder, but it will fence me inside those three words for the rest of my life. i don't want to "stay in recovery" forever. i want to be recovered...completely and utterly finished with my eating disorder.

each time i choose the music, i'll be one step closer.



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