January 21, 2008

New Year, New Start.... (maybe)

(also posted on my Xanga site, for any of you who visit both).

A friend of mine, on her photo-blog wrote: "I guess that my career and my life will be filled with a perpetual struggle to find my voice. In a way, that's comforting, and if nothing else, it won't be boring."

I am always amazed at the random moments when little things like this find their way into my day, catch me off guard and make me think about things. Example of random moment: It's 1:40 a.m. and I am in the middle of writing a 22 page IEP for my psych class. For whatever reason, I decided to check out A's blog and see what's new, and I stumbled upon the above referenced paragraph.

And I read it once. Then twice. Then sat and thought about it and read it once more. Because I understand it. And I can relate to it. And I know exactly what it means. If there were a single phrase to sum up the... intensity... of my art or my writing or what goes on inside my head 24/7, she just wrote it: in essence, it all comes down to that "perpetual struggle to find my voice".

The difference between us, however, is the fact she has embraced that ideology as one of comfort; something to look forward to, whereas I've always faced the struggle in defensive mode, ready to fight. But maybe I've been wrong....

And maybe the difference between living and a life is found, not in the degree to which one succeeds in finding her voice and making it heard, but in having a voice to find in the first place. Without that constant, continual fight--- you are silenced. And a spirit whom is silenced begins to die. And you become empty. Numb. A shadow or a shell of your former self, with nothing constant to hold onto. I've always said my ED was my one and only constant. My comrade. My stability and the one thing I could depend on when everyone else walked away. And in some ways, this is true. But maybe I've been wrong on this too. Because the fight has always been there. It's not the ED that has been the constant-- but rather, the struggle to find my voice, my space, my place in this world. That struggle has never gone away. When all else is stripped away-- what is real will still remain. When you take away every factor that plays a part in my ED-- food, body image, family, weight, husband, etc. and on and on.--- the one thing that remains is me. Wendy. Still trying to make my voice heard in a world that moves too fast for me to keep up. And I'm forever falling backwards, being left behind. And instead of fighting for it, embracing that struggle as one that lets me know I'm still alive, I've spent all these years fighting against it. Keeping it quiet. Not saying what I need to or want to. Not saying what's in my head or what I feel. Sometimes I even keep those things from myself, so that-- when asked-- all I can do is sit there and say, "I don't know". I think mostly it's a fear of simply just allowing myself to BE. Here. Now. Right this moment. But I spend all this time looking backwards, trying to make sense of things, or looking forward trying to get everything figured out. In the meantime, I miss the everyday stuff. The little things. The seemingly unimportant things. (On second thought-- it's those "everyday stuff" sort of things that make life what it is. Without it, life would be nothing more than a series of empty moments. And emptiness only fuels the hunger, the drive, the need to find one's voice.)

Interesting thought: A searches for meaning hidden inside photographs; finds her voice by turning pictures into words.
I search for images, meanings, metaphors hidden in words, find my voice by turning words into pictures.

It's a universal struggle, regardless of the art-form, I suppose.......

(And the cynic in me jumps in and asks: "How can you go searching for yourself when you don't even know who you're looking for?")

Good question-- but one I can't answer.

Posted by Wendy on January 21, 2008 11:26 AM

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Hi. I just found your blog through a Google Search of Anorexia Nervosa. I have struggled with this since I was a senior in high school (11 yrs +). I too am an identical twin born just 4 days prior to you and your sister. My sister also has struggled with AN in the past. I can so relate to so much of what you have said. I am just starting an outpatient treatment program and I'm scared to death.

Posted by: Jody at February 11, 2008 12:52 PM

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