by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end
He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
This is a terrific poem by Linda Ellis that was recommended to me by a very special friend. It’s so true.
Sadly, I have thought about my funeral. How awful. 43 years old and I’ve thought about my funeral. And it isn’t a funeral when I’m in my 90’s. It’s a funeral when I’m in my 40’s. The thought of my family and friends sitting at Benjamins, paying their respects to me does more than break my heart. It absolutely destroys me.
I have more to live for than I could ever imagine.
This Eating Disorder has taken over 20 years of my life and turned it into a living hell.
Not all of it. Don’t get me wrong. I have lived a part of that life with complete joy and happiness. And it’s all because of my family and friends. YOU! I am so fortunate to be surrounded by people that are loving, caring, thoughtful and supportive. If I didn’t have that, I would’ve likely fallen apart years ago. ED can do that to a person. You feel like you are on a merry-go-round that you cannot get off of and decide that you have had enough. You completely fall apart and give up.
I would NEVER, EVER allow ED to convince me that I have had enough. I will keep fighting until I win this battle. I will continue to fight until I win. I will continue to fight until I am a voice for recovery.
You are at work. It’s 4:30pm. It’s a day when you would take laxatives. You close your door and begin the process. You are just over halfway done when you get extremely nauseous.
WHAT THE FUCK? This shouldn’t be happening. I’m not done! But you can’t muster the strength to take one more. You also cannot sit at your desk – so you run to the washroom.
You sit on the toilet and plant your head in your lap to try and stop the room from spinning. You begin to sweat and don’t know if you are going to throw up, pass out or have a heart attack because you can feel it beating through your chest.
Someone comes in the washroom. She is fixing her hair and makeup before she goes home. All I want is her to leave. I need to be in there by myself. After a good five minutes (which seems like an eternity) she leaves and I have to lie down. The room is spinning and I am about to faint. The stall is tiny and I don’t fit on the floor. So my body is literally wrapped around the toilet. A dirty, disgusting, public toilet. I never in my wildest dreams would’ve ever thought I would end up in that position. First off, I’m a clean freak and secondly – just what the hell am I doing? But in the moment, I do what I have to in order to survive the pain.
Luckily it’s the end of the workday so everyone begins to leave and I have the privacy I need.
I rotate from throwing up to using the toilet for a good hour.
I have help at home so I know the kids are being taken care of.
I know that my kids have likely called me a couple times on my cell phone (as they always do at the end of the day), but I don’t have it with me. My only goal at that moment is to let this pass so I can be strong enough to drive home.
As I’m lying there what am I thinking of? A lot of people have questioned how I spend that time. What is going through my mind?
The Eating Disorder is commending me for accomplishing what it set out to do.
Lisa is cursing the Eating Disorder for screwing once again with my mind and damaging my body.
I feel my body get weaker and weaker. You are not made to have these things happen to your body. You are not made to empty out the contents of your body like this. It is not normal and it is not healthy. But at the time, ED doesn’t give a shit about me. His “voice” tells me how proud he is that I am going to have a flat stomach shortly. Part of me just wants it to happen so it can be over and done with. To move on. To get home and live the part of my life that I love. The other half swears that I will never do this again. But I know it’s not true. I know that it won’t end.
The key to recovery is believing that it’s the last time. Believing that you want to recover. We all say it. We all wish that we could eat and not worry about it. We all wish that we wouldn’t have to have a battle at each and every meal. We all wish that we could be the way we were before ED.
My dash cannot be about days like this.