Friday, July 9, 2010

Coming from a dark place

it is an interesting mechanism of human survival that we believe about our lives and our selves whatever it is we need to in order to maintain hope and stamina. "i", for instance, having had an eating disorder, at some point chose to believe that recovery was possible. recovery necessarily meaning that life would be better in order for it to be desirable. it was a belief i chose not all at once, but in broken steps, out of increasing desperation.
desperation created by the pain of slowly killing myself, the pain of being scorned by those i loved, the pain of a complete lack of autonomy, the pain of isolation, and the pain of bringing disgust, despair, and disappointment to my family. these pains threatened this tenuous existence - i had to make a choice. either believe that 'recovery' was possible for me, or stop hanging by a thread and just let it snap. there are all kinds of pressures, internally and externally, to not 'just let it snap', and probably rightly so, assuming that we are all here to continue survival,right?

and so i made a choice. the limbo space between here and gone was quickly disappearing, so i jumped to one side. i chose to believe that my fears- fears that swallowed me whole, that kept me awake at night starving & lonely, that drove my compulsive routines- that these fears were simply not true.
i chose to accept that this would tear me apart, that i would have to reject every belief and foundation "my life" had come to be built on, to overthrow the driver of my brainwheel. to accept that every breathing moment of my foreseeable future would be an exasperating torture. to accept that any control i thought i had was imagined. to accept that the pain i would feel outside of my madly constructed bubble would greatly exceed the pains within the bubble, even those that had brought me to this desperate decision making place. to accept that despite this, somehow, it would be worth it, and i would get through it.
to say these are choices made on faith is a gross understatement. they are choices that create faith in order to exist. choices that exist only to maintain hope and stamina. yet, according to those around me, this was the only rational choice - the only one they could believe in - because it kept them going, and we are all here to keep going, right?

this was fucking hard work, done on faith, with very little immediate reward (other than lifting some of the burdens off of my family). they reassured me that it would be worth it. so far as i could tell, recovery in their minds was a field of butterflies, rainbows and daisies- the light at the end of this dark tunnel, and every other cliche of delite.
'professionals' saw more of my truth - they dealt with people in recovery daily, but they too reassured me that it would be worth it. most of the time, i still believe this is true. it gives me hope and stamina. i am 'recovered'. an ironic label, since i feel near constantly lost. what is it that i have recovered? i think i am what i feared. i would not have made this leap of faith to recovery if i had known this to be true. but am i sorry that i made the leap? i don't know. when you cross an unbridgeable divide, looking back and making calculations is the sort of futile act that is pure masochism - that kills hope and stamina. which may be why i am in this pit: from trying to make that calculation.
in the end it is irrelevant if i am what i feared, because the process of recovery means letting go of that fear, however tightly you think you need to grasp it. letting it go and letting the process of living be all that you hold on to; all that you adhere to.

back to the point, if there is any point to this, people choose to believe the things that they need to to carry on. no matter how analytical they are, they do it because they have to.
my family has always believed that my recovery would bring me greater contentment and relief. they are sure of it, they can not see how it would not be so. but the world does not work this way, it does not discriminate between "i's" and "you's" and "me's" and "my's". it doesn't care who my family belongs to. and it cares very little about my contentment.
this is not a cruelty, this is a great ambivalent energy, a fusion and division of matter without a mind for my petty existence. so there is no reason to believe in anything about how things "should be" or "will go". the faith i based my recovery on is a bunch of shit. my personal essence + my life experience + my culture of birth + my period of history may peace and contentment, ever. that is something to be accepted for the sake of continuing existence. or something to be rejected and resented for a life of bitterness, or for death.
or, if i'm half sane, i'll probably just continue to ignore it and choose beliefs that format my brain for hope and stamina. call it choosing ignorance. or call it a cynical outlook. but i'm calling it like it is; nothing more than a convenient choice, a mechanism for the survival of each day.
and that is recovery, take it or leave it.
i'm gonna take it.

s'all good.