Progress doesn’t always feel good, it doesn’t always feel as if you’re moving forward, in fact a lot of the time it feels as if you’re giving up on the thing that you are best at. It even feels as though you’re banishing your closest friend and loyal ally. But at those moments I stop, I take a breath and I think. I think about what my friends really look like. I think of all that I’m working for now and other talents I’m discovering. I think about how much I want to do in my life and remember that starvation and anorexia are not compatible with any of these desires. It’s bizarre really, because my brain can truly make me believe that if I just skip that meal, just lost that bit more weight, things would be better, I’d be happier, the World would be a better place. And I know it’s not true, I have clear evidence in front of me, behind me, surrounding me, but I still buy into it sometimes. It’s hard not to, brain chemistry is a funny thing. Through all of this though, I am stronger, I’m becoming proud of my gains (as anyone who follows me on instagram or facebook will know, sorry about that!) I’m seeing it as not only weight, but life, strength, experience, courage, all of these things. I’m trying to treat myself as I would my niece, allowing for mistakes, trips, struggles, comforting and indulging through moments of distress. I’m doing what I love and I’m fucking enjoying it. Exercise has once again become a joy. I’m not constantly bombarded by the demands of a drill sergeant, demanding I do more, I’m doing what I enjoy and what feels right. It’s making me proud of my physical strength, something that I know I cannot have if I do not eat. I’m dancing again, and although this in itself causes many problems (my perfectionist tendencies are still rampant and struggling with something I used to love it hard), but instead of beating myself up and fixating on it as I once would have, I’m trying to recognize that I’ve been too exhausted and weak to walk in recent memory, an imperfect leg extension is not the end of the World. I’m setting my own challenges that are conducive to health, as oppose to being self-destructive. I don’t feel so proud of my anorexic medals of honor any longer. I don’t feel desperate to wear my bones as prizes on my chest. I recognized a monumental change in myself recently when one of one of my newer, but so adored friend’s Sam told me I was looking hot. Instead of freaking out, crying on him and taking it to mean “you’re looking fat”, or just plastering a fake smile on my face and saying thank you, I gave a genuine grin of pleasure. I’m embracing being a girl (I should say woman, but I just feel weird saying that…cue Britney Spears). I’m posting shameless (I say shameless, but in reality I worry people are thinking ‘shut up you vain and vacuous idiot’ or ‘oh lord, Maya got FAT’) photos of my body in the moments I’m happy with it and proud of it. Don’t get me wrong, this is not all the time. A lot of the time I agonize over being too big, disgusting, you know the score.BUT at these times, I try and surround myself with positive energy and remember the pride I felt in those photos and know that nothing’s changed since ten minutes ago. I’ve been dating again (anorexia numbs all desire, so getting that back has been a lot of fun).
I’m really trying not to let anorexia be an excuse, if people ask me to do something, I’m trying to not say “I’m anorexia, I can’t”, I went to an 8 course dinner the other day. All of my friends thought I was mad, hell, I thought I was mad, but instead of backing out I spoke to Thea (whose words of wisdom I value above any) and she told me I could. She’s loved me through it all, even when I’ve been totally unlovable, she tells me when I’m wrong, or being stupid, she laughed when I ran away to Barcelona and recognized my rebellion to be better than me passively allowing anorexia to win (she also told me I was a fucking idiot to run away from hospital), so when she told me I could, I believed her. And I did it and nothing bad happened, I didn’t wake up the next morning the elephantine woman, I was just the same, but proud. Thea was prouder.
I am spinning the silk threads of my story, weaving the fabric of my world...I spun out of control. Eating was hard. Breathing was hard. Living was hardest.
I wanted to swallow the bitter seeds of forgetfulness...Somehow, I dragged myself out of the dark and asked for help.
There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore.
I am thawing.” –Laurie Anderson
I am no longer quite so cold, I am no longer numb, I am allowing myself to experience true happiness again, but also pain. I’m accepting that’s life, things go wrong, there are days that are shit, but you need them to recognize the moments of euphoria. A rejection or an imperfect audition is not a reason to starve myself, if anything, it’s a reason to keep going, you need strength to prove people wrong. Acting is probably the least straight forward, predictable path I could’ve chosen, I’m gonna have to get used to not succeeding, to someone else getting my part, but there will be times I get that one I really wanted. (I hope!) I still have a long way to go, Im not healed, far from, and although I feel I’ve gained enough, I’m told that’s anorexia’s opinion. I’m trying to trust those I love when they tell me I’m not yet healthy and I’ve got to keep on going, it’s hard, it’s a work in progress, but most the good things are.
(I've punctuated this post with photos of my progress and where things are now, i've had a few people contact me because of my lack of blogging, just to see if i'm ok etc and asking for an update, I will continue to blog, but to follow via instagram for annoying inspirational quotes, photos of what i'm up to etc just whack in @maya.pillay
Dragonfly info will also follow this shortly as thats a whole other bundle of excitement for me right now!)