I’m on a road.

I’m on a road that stretches so far off into the distance, I can’t see the end. I’ve heard tell that once I get there, life will be better. I’ve heard the trip’s a challenge, but the destination makes it worthwhile. I’m told that once I get there, things’ll be alright.

Once I get down the road, I’ll be calm, grounded, and fully me. They tell me my eating disorder can’t live there.

They tell me I’ll be happy.

They tell me I’ll be free.

Those are appealing thoughts, so I start down the road again, determined to get going. I’m always desperate to escape my here and now.

The road’s unpaved and the weather forbidding. Ruts and puddles abound. There are no signposts, no hints as to how long the trip will take. There’s just the road, stretching out in front of me. Walking is an act of faith.

The realities of the journey ahead scare me, but I want that promised life. I want more than hard feelings and buckets of self-loathing. One foot hits the path and then the other. I’m walking.

As I travel on, I notice pathways branching off to my left and right. They all seem more appealing than the road I’m on. Some are paved and well lit, some are rut and puddle-free dirt paths, and some are thin trails meandering through softly waving grass. The sun shines and the air smells sweet and warm. 

They’re deceptively lovely, those alternate routes. In truth, they’re a lie. I know where the easy roads end. The honey traps are nothing but false advertising. They’re not alternate paths at all: rather, they’re switchbacks, dragging me right back to the misery of nothing new.

I wish bad choices didn’t look so inviting. The road I need to take looks demanding: I’m not sure I have it in me. Falling down is always easier than climbing back up.

I keep walking despite my pessimism. I can always give up later. Knowing that I can quit if I want to makes it easier to push on. And, I’m ready to try something different. Doing the same thing over and over leads to the same result and I’m done with it. I’m beyond tired when it comes to picking myself up. And why wouldn’t I be? I regularly redo the things that bring me down. The unknown may be worrisome, but the familiar is worse. 

I’m told that where I’m going is better than where I’ve been. I’m going to give it some time, and until I believe, take it on faith.

(November 19, 2017)

By Em

I like writing. Words help me unpack my thoughts so things can start to make sense. Once I have both myself and the universe figured out, I plan to take up macrame. "Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing, and learn as you go." E. L. Doctorow

7 comments

  1. Reblogged this on From famine to feast. and commented:

    I’m still on a road. It’s four years on from when I wrote this piece and I have made significant progress. It’s been almost two years since I voluntarily vomited. Considering what came before, that’s somewhat of a miracle. I forget sometimes, in my haste to remind myself that I’m utterly imperfect, how far I’ve come.

    Like

    1. “I keep walking despite my pessimism. I can always give up later.”

      Practicing this helps us all, whether our issues are eating disorders or the million of other possibilities. How often are we proved wrong in our pessimism? We can do hard things. We just need to move ahead and realize we deserve an amazing journey.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a great point – that our negative thoughts are often proven to be a lie. How odd that we’re built that way. Thanks for reading. 💕

        Like

  2. Seeing this in 2021 – well done with your journey so far.

    I really enjoyed the way you described the road and the branches. Great visualization.

    I cannot stop myself – Don’t people also say that it’s about the journey, not the destination? Also, I think the destination is death, so…..

    Liked by 1 person

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