“The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.”
Looking through my old journal, I find myself at a set of train tracks which, if I choose to cross, will take me to the dusty town I used to live, filled with nights of pressing my ribs to make sure they still protruded and days of heavy eyelids from not sleeping. If I choose to cross the tracks, I can go back to the barren land of self-abuse and hatred with its county jail filled with only one occupant: me.
If I choose to cross the tracks, I will meet again with the devil and shake his hand firmly, look him square in the eye, and say politely: Eff Off.
So, here I go. I am at a set of tracks, and I will cross them and go back to that dusty little town, so I can take back what I left there. So I can grow and expand and share with anyone what is truly possible in terms of healing and discovery.
I will not go back to that town and live there. I will go back and reclaim what was mine.
I will share what I found with you, there in that old cowboy town.
I am already dreading waking up tomorrow morning because I wake up so depressed. Tomorrow I will NOT wake up depressed. I refuse! I am in control of my life. Of my emotions. No more waking up depressed, no more binge eating. I am the only person in control of my life. No more feeling sorry for myself.
Tomorrow I will not feel guilty for all the food I ate tonight. I will MAYBE eat some fruit. I will not be sad. I will not obsess. I will get in shape and lose weight. I won’t eat at night anymore. I am certainly in control. I am NOT fat.
Why do I hate myself so much? Why am I so self-destructive? Why do I feel so down and unworthy? Why do I feel so ugly? Why do I obsess over food? Why do I have such a messed up relationship with food?
Well, No More!
I am so bloated. I am not eating anything else today. All week I ate so much. Pasta, potato chips, Indian food. Raisins! My new diet starts today. Why does my face look so ugly?
I don’t want to be this way. I want to be normal.
From now on I can deal with hunger. I’ll eat my own hunger.
There is nothing alive in that town anymore. There are some cobwebs and old bones and skeletons. I took back any leftover parts of me that remained back in that town on a dirt road on the other side of the tracks. I have crossed back over and brought back with me those pieces I would like to share in the name of What Is Possible.
So, What Is Possible?
– Healthy relationships.
– Eating without feeling guilty. In fact, eating with bliss!
– Looking back at old diaries and not recognizing them, as if you are reading fiction.
– Waking up happy.
– Not determining your worth by your weight.
– Letting go of old, broken mind tapes.
– Inspiring others.
– And so much more.
I found this paragraph in the same journal entry, from 1995, and I thought it was very hopeful, as it is an utterly true prediction of who I am today in 2012.
I want to be happy and secure and not worry and have friends and enjoy life. I am the only one in control of my life. I, not anyone else, am the only person who can make myself happy. I am the only possible person who can be in control of my life.
That was a small glimmer of what was always inside of me, even back then in that dusty town in 1995. A small glint of light appeared if only for a moment as if reflected off the back of car. It may have taken me seventeen years or so to trace the source of that light, but I can safely say I have captured it, bottled it, and am reproducing it here for you.
You can heal. Whoever you are.
In 1995, I wrote that I am the only person in control of my life. Maybe I read it in a book, or maybe I really wanted to believe it. Who knows? I certainly didn’t believe it at the time. I didn’t live it.
The devil, not me, controlled my life back then.
So Eff You, Devil. Eff You, Anorexia. Eff You, any voice in my head that says, “You will always be this way. You will always be stuck.”
The devil tries to come back every now and again, sometimes in disguise. But I am armed now. And ready.
He cannot trick me into thinking he doesn’t exist anymore. I have seen him.
And I have beaten him down.
Jennifer Pastiloff was recently featured on Good Morning America. She is a yoga teacher, writer, and advocate for children with special needs based in L.A. She is also the creator of Manifestation Yoga® and leads retreats and workshops all over the world. Jennifer is currently writing a book and has a popular daily blog called Manifestation Station. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Jen will be leading a Manifestation Yoga® weekend retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires, Massachusetts Feb 1-3, 2013.
*Photo by brenrub.