Today I decided to go back to the gym. I've been away, then the Gym been undergoing some refurbishment, so for past 2 weeks I've focused on my DVD circuits, which was just as good for my body as running, but still I missed my little addiction.
It felt fantastic to feel this adrenaline again. As my feet were hitting the surface and familiar hormone started circulating in my blood I felt happier and happier. Stress of past few days, all worries and concerns slowly started disappearing. I don't think I will ever understand how it happens, that such a basic movement can make me feel so great.
In my ears, the running tracks changed into Laura Marling's angelic voice singing about hope. It meant cool down time. Tracks on my iPod are timed to match the length of my run, taking away the danger of overdoing it and hurting myself.
As I moved onto slow uphill walk, she walked onto the treadmill next to me. I've noticed her sad, far to big for the skeletal face, eyes in the mirror in front of us. Her pale skin looked like it's about to break open, letting the bones and veins out. Over sized clothes made her look even smaller and weaker than she was. She slowly started moving, straight into slow jog, without letting her body warm up first. As her t-shirt moved with her, I could see her hip bones, not covered by anything other than skin. But it's her eyes that told the story. I've seen sadness, pain and disappointment, as she tried to speed up, but malnourished joints refused to listen to her. I could see her eyes darkening with anger, then filling with tears. She didn't let them go. Keeping the brave face is what we all do best after all. Keep going, keep pushing, we think.
I say we with a reason. I was, I am her. Looking at this lonely, little creature next to me, brought all demons back. The invisible door to the room I've locked them in opened, letting beasts run wild and free.
I looked down. I didn't want to watch her. I didn't want to remember. I pushed demons back into the room, I don't need them, don't want them back.
As timer counted down to end of my cool down, I felt calmer. I wanted to go. For the first time in ages I was itching to leave my favourite place in this town - gym. (Yes, I know, sounds sad, but there isn't really anywhere in this town I feel better).
I changed quickly, nearly running to the exit. I glanced at the treadmills. She was still there. Still trying to speed up. Her eyes filled with a fog, mind flying away from world around her. I knew it's a matter of minutes before her legs stop moving and she falls unconscious, hurting herself. I know it's probably none of my business, but I couldn't watch it. I asked a PT to get her off that treadmill, before something happens. He looked at me shocked, saying he doesn't understand what I mean. Even more shocked to hear the truth. How can I be sure? It took over 10 years of my life. I can see and sense it. Trust me.
I left as he walked towards her. I didn't want to see her reaction, knowing well what it could be. Anger. That's what mine would be back then. If only anyone noticed.
On the way home, thoughts started coming to me. I tried to name my feelings. And my own feelings scared me. Part of me, that dark part, which I thought I killed, felt jealousy. The voice of my demon whispering - see you failed, you should be like her, she's thin, she's perfect. Part of me felt her pain, hoping for her to seek help, wanting to help her. Feeling angry and sad at the same time.
But it's the jealousy that scared me. I realised that I will never be free. I can lock the demons in the deepest part of my mind and swallow the key, they will always be there. They will always come back to me, bringing these unwanted feelings, yet so familiar. I realised, that they never left me and never will. I don't want to surrender. I don't want to lose any more of my life. I don't want to die for something some might call perfection. I want to live and be happy. Being thin doesn't make you happy. I've been there, I know.
I had Eating Disorder. I made it fall into deep, restless sleep. I locked my demons. I thought I'm safe. But now I know I never will be. Whether it's the extra inch around my waist after having tub of Ben&Jerry's, old pair of jeans that shrunk in the wash and no longer fits or girl, who's who I used to be - all this can let the demons out. And I have to control them, fight them, not let them talk. Pushing past away is no an answer. Dealing with the past is the only way to the bright and happy future.
It was a break through. Seeing someone, who I was so recently made me realise how much I don't want to go back there. I'm even more determined to be healthy now. I want to eat right food, not to lose weight but to nourish my body. I want to work out not to lose weight but to build up strength of my muscles.
And I am going to have that damn pizza and ice cream to follow and enjoy it without the guilt!!!
Skinny is so passée... Fit and healthy is a new trend.
P.S. I hope I will see her again. I want to try and talk to her. It helps to see yourself in someone else. This makes you see yourself the way others see you...