This girl is an explosion of talent and grace. She completely blew my mind. I’m tripping tripping tripping.
The airport. The plane. The pain. The people. The hours. The goodbye. The tears. Everything was collapsing around me. Everything was crashing down and coming back up. Everything was screaming at my face. Come on. I’ve done this before. I’ve been doing this for three years now. No tears. My brother knows me too well. I remembered what he had told me earlier: “I don’t want you to cry”. He knew i would feel it all. He knew i would want to cry. Making eye contact with my mother became impossible. Hugging her felt like giving away a piece of my heart. I could feel the tears trying to come out of me, and something else trying to hold them back. And that was it. I was there. I let myself be in the confusion of that moment. The Goodbye.
Coming home is always a good idea. Fez is where i can see my family again. Fez is where i can feel home. Fez is where i can speak arabic again. Fez is where the magic happens. It’s where the drowning in my mummy’s kisses happens. Rapping on Iggy Azalea with my sister. Brofisting Pewds with my brother. Hearing the muezzin calling to prayer. Living life like every day is made of gold. Living in a dream. Waking up from the dream is the part that i never like to think about. Until it has to happen. Waking up is saying Goodbye. Living the moment of separation one more time, no matter how painful it can be. It had to be that flight. I had to land in Casablanca, and wait for five hours before getting on the plane that would take me to Paris.
I had to be that girl. The girl who chose to leave home at seventeen because she wanted to study abroad in France. I had to be that strong independant person who could be touched but not destroyed by this moment of weakness. Or at least play the role of that person. I still don’t know. I still don’t know what i’m doing here. I still don’t know how to get out of the illusion i have been having. The illusion of being a person who has to go somewhere and want something in order to be someone. I still don’t know how to get out of it. I don’t even know what it means to get out of it. I don’t even know if i’m forcing myself to ignore something that i already know. What if i am only pretending to be that girl? The girl who doesn’t know.
It’s always about being that girl. Or pretending to be that girl. The girl who left. The girl who wrote poems. The girl who became sick. The girl who fell in love. Do i really need to be that girl? Do i really need to stay in her past? Do i really need to play by her rules? What if i don’t want to be that girl anymore? What if i don’t need to be in control all the time? And who am i, really? I am an ever changing breeze. Everything makes sense, until it doesn’t. Words play tricks on me all the time. Change of plans. I am life. I am presence. I am consciousness. I am this. I am that. Does it really matter? Does knowing matter? Do the words matter? My words are empty. My words are not enough.
I have no idea how this is supposed to happen. I hate lying to myself. I have been lying to myself for so long that i forgot how to feel. I forgot how to let myself be whatever i am. My spiritual search started with a book, and saved me from my fears. I’ve been to places i never thought even existed in me. My spiritual life is still saving me everyday. I am still waiting every single day for something new. My spiritual search will never end. There is always space for more. Maybe i am the almost place. Maybe i almost got it. It’s all about getting it. It’s not even about understanding and saying yes, it’s about calling that deep place in my soul for something new, and watching the light of that. Contemplate it. Slowly, carefully. Watch out. A millisecond. It’s gone.
Small glimpses. That’s all i have. Glimpses. I am not disillusioned. I am not there yet. I don’t know anything about anything. And knowing that i don’t know is the only kind of knowing that i can do right now. Maybe someday, i will say that time does not exist, and actually mean it. I will know it for sure, and it will be the kind of knowing that i can’t say anything about. It will be the same kind of knowing as the one i have heard about. It’s not that i need to stay with the not knowing. I need to stay with what comes from inside me. I need to be with the things that i won’t need to reach for or to pretend reaching for because they will come to me. They will be there. I don’t want to create anything. I want to find this. This. I want to find it in a multitude of distractions and countless rivers. Rivers of thoughts.
The thought of writing this post is frankly terrifying. I never thought i would have the guts to put myself in this kind of situation. I really wanted to be as honest as possible when writing this. Otherwise, i will definitely be missing the whole point. I am writing this because i want to reach out to anyone who might relate to it. It’s my story. And i don’t want to put shame around it anymore. So yes, i am suffering from eating disorders. I couldn’t keep hiding it forever. So i am making this confession today, because i always knew that this day would come, and i am ready now. You can judge me if you want to. Maybe unintentionally, but still. And that’s okay. I used to do that too.
So yes, i starved myself. My body suffered a lot from all the hunger. And i became addicted to food. My body suffered again. My weight kept fluctuating over the years. My life became a lot more complicated, and i lost myself to a vicious cycle that was creeping up on me, and literally destroyed me from the inside out.
Having an eating disorder is an illness, not a choice. It’s not something i asked for. It’s not the type of situation that can be rationalized. It’s easy to isolate things from the context in which they happen, and make assumptions about others, that’s why there’s a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to things like eating disorders or depression. But i confess that i still feel guilty for what i have put myself through for the last ten years of my life, knowing that there is no reason to feel this way. I know now that i was not and could not be aware of what i was doing to myself. So, i don’t want to look at it from a place of resentment or blame anymore. None of what happened did because of someone, or because of something. It just did because it was meant to happen.
I could share every detail of how events kept unfolding, but i don’t think i want to do that. I would have to write a memoir if i wanted to do that. I would have to be Portia de Rossi. I would have to tell you about all of the thoughts and emotions that came with these moments of weakness, and these moments of hatred. I would have to tell you about the bruises in my heart, from all the pain i inflicted on myself. I would have to tell you all about falling out of love with my true self and in love with the illusion of having to be someone else. About faking smiles, and wanting to die. I am not going to do that. I don’t want to live in the past. I don’t want to go back and analyze it. I don’t want to put more drama to it. I am a small girl who lost herself to a very big world. And there are millions of other girls like me.
I haven’t fully recovered yet, but i have these small moments of glory, where i would have this indescribable sensation of being reborn again. I am recovering and i am sure that every single person who is sick can also do that. I have once been told that i could recover when i didn’t think i would, and that’s what kept me going. I am now the one who is saying it. It might look impossible, but it is not. Everything comes from inside. Being anorexic or bulimic only affects the body. But everything happens in the mind. That’s why it’s called a mental illness. That’s why recovery is something that comes from within. Recovery doesn’t mean having a perfect body, it means accepting that body. It means listening to that body, and taking care of it. Recovery is understanding that beauty is so much more than cultural ideals.
The purpose of sharing this is to give a message to the girl behind the screen. I once was the girl behind the screen, and if it weren’t for the incredibly inspiring stories i have read, i would have never woken up. Recovery is not about the fight. If you fight against yourself, you can never win. Recovery is letting go, and knowing that you are enough. Don’t let the beauty industry take your insecurities and turn them into profit. Acceptance is key.
I am not saying that i have it all figured out now. I am still trying to embrace the change i see in myself. Accepting change is the only way i can move forward, and live this continuous transformation of everything in me and around me in an honest way. Recovery is change. But more than that, recovery is courage. It’s the courage to embrace the big unknown. This giant leap towards something i never thought existed. The feeling of being able to live with myself knowing that no matter how excruciating the pain was, there’s still space for something so much more powerful to blossom. And that i still have a life waiting for me, a life that i have to start living now.