Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Liminal Land Love, Endurance, and Transience

While I am not quite “well” yet, I am most certainly no longer deathly ill. This is quite the transition. It’s a miraculous milestone to realize- to occupy this new space with awareness of my experience. I’m kind of amazed at what ground I have traversed, and the things that I have accomplished through sheer discipline and devotion. My hyper-vigilance has waned significantly as it is no longer necessary. What was once unknown and difficult is now habit and as familiar as the back of my hand. I am actually looking forward, with excitement instead of anxiety!

In fact, I have moved from the space of “I could die at any moment. Please don’t let this heart palpitation episode turn into the heart attack that kills me. Please don’t let me get so delirious and dehydrated that I can’t get out of bed to the bathroom. Please let the food stay down, without my body shutting down. Please let this food be the stuff that actually feeds me. Please don’t let me lose yet another pound. Please give me the courage to keep at the regime, no matter how I feel. Please let me be pleasant enough to the outside world that I can handle some topic of conversation that doesn’t involve me staying alive, my disease and disability. Please…” to a space of “Oh yeah, I used to double over in agonizing pain after eating, while my body temperature plummeted, my headache doubled, my heart raced, I felt like vomiting or passing out and hoping not to do both at the same time. Oh yeah, I used to feel fatigued all the time. Oh yeah, I used to feel run over by a Mack truck everyday, all the time. Oh yeah, my naked body was so disgustingly gaunt that it made others gasp and draw back in horror. Oh yeah, I used to think only about my grief and loss from not experiencing what other people take for granted. Oh yeah, I spent years focused on sleeping, eating, and eliminating without much hope for any other kind of existence. Oh yeah, headaches are now infrequent and foreign experiences instead of constant and layered. Oh yeah…” and it is AWESOME!!! Alleluia!!!

I have not arrived. But, I am not so sick anymore! While I am no longer certain that I cannot do anything I wish at all, I am still not so certain about what I can do. This is a wonderfully odd place to be. There is possibility, potential, where once there was little to none. I am beginning to really believe that I might have the chance to realize health and well being in my very near future. I am beginning to taste what is on my horizon: social interaction, community contributions, and most of all, moments without any fear about food.

The quantity of my present life is less in question now, and I can think about the quality of my future. This is huge! If you’ve never spent a significant amount of time on the verge of death, with extended experiences of extreme conditions and modified behavior mandates, then you are clueless to this trauma. The relief from the fear of immanent death fortunately receded a couple of years ago, but it has taken me another two years to gain the perspective of “I am living, not just surviving.”

Four years of fanaticism to my personal, limited version of SCDiet has been very rewarding! The pay off for my adherence to the ultimate scientific experiment of my life is having a life, one that I might soon again use to do something that I want. I might soon be able to choose some things that are significant directors of life experience. Let me rephrase that; I might soon be able to choose from something more than evil and lesser evil. I might soon be able to actualize my desired career instead of thinking it is a dream that I have no right to think about, let alone do. I might soon…

In Vivo Gastronome will always be my identity, no matter what other experiences I ever get to undertake, because it is the only way for me to have a good life. That identity is no longer liminal, and I no longer desire it to be temporary. It serves me too well to abandon. It is the only responsible choice, and it is a choice. I used to think that I would leave it by the wayside as soon as I had the option. Now, I don’t think I could ever be that irreverent, disrespectful, apathetic, indifferent, or neglectful of my self and well-being ever again. It is sometimes surprising what ends up being the thing you take with you and what you choose to lose for the better along the way. I love this identity now, because it’s the one that nourished me back to life, the one that saved me. How could I hate it now???