anorexia nervosa; in remission.
re/mis/sion (noun): the diminution of the seriousness or intensity of pain. a respite. stemming from the latin root ‘remittere’, meaning to restore.
in remission. these were the words written by the hand of my therapist, as sun filtered in through the slanted windows. as we were signing a medical clearance so that i may travel to israel. as the excitement for a departure to tel aviv was replaced with crushing guilt of a survivor for nothing more than being alive. as my sweater became much too hot. choking. suffocating. as i felt the sudden crumbling of my words, and my fucking chest filled with the weight of loathing and my throat tasted like the bitter stench of vomit.
in remission. an identity shift. existing in a body that has been revived from the precipices of darkness, empty but oh so full, and i ache that the latter is all i can allow myself to feel.
in remission. the tears no longer fill my lungs. the fear is no longer a wound that abandons me crawling on my cold knees, pleading for apathy. my bruised kneecaps are no longer my prayer beds.
in remission. the duality of the fragility of a pain alleviated, and the acknowledgement of the strength in endurance.
in remission. the expectation to return to all the light you are told that you held once before. the restoration. the restoration of the life you tried to end, of the soul you hoped would starve, of the body you wished someone would find cold by sunrise. but, not all of us had a ‘before’ worthy of a return. for some of us, for me, ‘before’ was tearing at the flesh on my arms beneath the play structure at the age of six. ‘before’ was sensing i was so wrong that i could not bear to identify with my body. ‘before’ was not speaking for days on end. ‘before’ was silence and confusion and an eating disorder by the age of twelve.
in remission. having nowhere to go. nowhere to run. no one to be. the ceaseless destruction of identities, with nothing safe rising from their ashes.
be/tween (preposition); at, in, or across a space of separation.
so here we are. here i am. waiting amidst the in between within which i know not where to go. but though my steps may falter and my legs may grow weak, i am no longer falling to my knees.
what i do know is that i cannot return. to any of it. to the darkness, to the years lost in the fog, to that wheelchair bound shell of a human, or to that unimaginable discord of the heart. to the ‘before’ on that playground sitting in the tanbark with blood on my wrist, or even the ‘before’ of yesterday. for the evolution of this pain must be held, and healed.
i may be in remission, but i am here to create, not restore.
i may brimming with an endless ‘before’, but i am too an endless ‘soon to be’.
i may be in remission, but my pain still thrives.
i may be a paradox, and i am united simply by virtue of it all.
maybe the truth of it is that we do not become unworthy the moment we finally become revived. maybe we do not deserve to die the moment we are almost alive.
i know that i am not there yet. i know that i am not cured. and, i strive to endure on the blind faith that i am on my way towards wherever this is all meant to lead.