The first thing I did when I came home yesterday afternoon was collapse on my rat’s nest of a bed. Though I had done nothing but sit in a cramped Ford for eight long hours, my body felt like every ounce of energy had been drained out of it. My muscles felt as wobbly and weak as jello, my brain felt cloudy, and my eyes fluttered like the delicate wings of a baby robin as I fought to stay awake.
As my exhausted sunk into the comfort of my mattress, memories of the past eight days played like a film in my mind’s eye. There were images of summer sun dancing on my grandparents’ crystal clear pond at their farm, images of my aunt’s face beaming with excitement as she fed a llama at the zoo, and images of my grandparents waving goodbye at the crowded McDonald’s where my mom picked me up to take me home.
With each beautiful memory, I could feel myself drowning in an ocean of regret. For far too long I hadn’t any one-on-one time with my grandparents at their home in the serene Michigan countryside. Why? Because my eating disorder kept me locked in my house – a place where everything consumed could be under its strict control. My eating disorder was well aware that if I were to go to my grandparents’, I would be forced to eat at unfamiliar times and ingest items it had forbidden to enter my mouth.
Now that I have grown older and stronger, I wish I never let my eating disorder keep me away from the love of my grandparents. Every moment I spent trapped its prison, was a moment I could have spent with listening to the song of my grandma’s laughter or seeing the infectious smile that always lights up my grandpa’s wrinkled face.
Please take it from a girl whose lost more than half her life to an eating disorder and go and see your grandparents. Don’t let your own eating disorder scare you out of it because if there one thing I wish I would have realized, it is that life doesn’t last for eternity. One day the flesh that has been loaned to your loved ones will have to be returned to the Earth and their souls will vanish into an unknown realm, their presence only to be seen again when you too must go.