This past week I went on vacation with my family to Marco Island. A small island off of Florida’s south coast. It is a beautiful town, surrounded by a glistening cerulean ocean, phenomenal sunsets and seashell covered beaches. But in this tropical paradise also lives old memories, memories of ED.
The day we arrived in Marco Island, I started to feel as if the rest of the world didn’t exist. I was overcome by past feelings of dark loneliness, isolation, a sense of loss: loss of the presence and the return of the past. And I find it strange how such a tranquil place can feel so equally desolate. The salty air seems to wash away responsibility, it seems to blow away everyone in my life, I feel as if they are an incomprehensible distance away.
There were a lot of eating disorder triggers in Marco Island: emotional and physical. Last time I walked these beaches I was sick, a sponge absorbed completely in my eating disorder. Last time I dipped my toe in the warm water, my body as thin as a rail, grew cold with goosebumps. Flashbacks, deja vu, I’m not sure which, but whichever it is makes me want to crawl into bed and cry. But to bring myself back of the present, I turned on the music and listened to some of my favorite songs. Songs in which the last time I had been to Marco Island I hadn’t listened to before. And the songs became a little bit of proof that the past is not the present, then is not now, and now is not then. When I write in these empty pages, I remember that the past is not writing these words with my pen I hold in my hand.
I swam in the pool on one of the last nights we were there as the sun disappeared into the horizon. I stared up at the moon, smiling. Floating in the warm water, my body felt as light as a feather. All the blustery energy exited every moment that I kicked my arms and legs through the water. But body felt weightless, weightless in the sense that ED was leaving, shrinking. Weightless as in I could float now, there was nothing weighing me down: no burden, no beast, no metal chains, I had done away with the anchor. And while ED was shrinking, I was growing, life laid inside of my in a way it hadn’t before. It was a kind of peace that I had long sense lost, a regained consciousness burned inside of me. I could have floated there forever.