“I’m laughing uncontrollably, sitting in the passenger seat of my ex-boyfriend’s truck. He’s staring at me wide-eyed, unsure if he should laugh with me or if I’ve finally cracked. Aware of this, I try to talk but cannot stop giggling to myself. This may be the most absurd moment of my life, but there’s nothing left to do except laugh because I’m in so much pain and so deliriously tired of being alive inside my own body.
“I’m about to buy pills from him,” I finally snicker, barely able to say the words. And we both burst into the kind of laughter that only comes from utter exhaustion.
I’m buying anxiety medication from his dealer friend, because it feels like there’s nothing else to do. I cannot swallow my own saliva and haven’t had anything to eat or drink in several days, minus the IV I received only after having the most epic meltdown of my life in the middle of an Emergency Room when they told me there was nothing they could do. No one can seem to do anything for me, or prescribe me anything to help with the anxiety that only makes it worse. At this point, I’m willing to be committed and sedated if that’s what it takes to stop being inside my own experience.”
* * *
Excerpt from the (terrifyingly honest and slightly incriminating in more ways than one) Unravel book that I’ve been plugging away at.
It’s been exactly two years since I stopped swallowing. Since the most terrifying, exhausting, and painful experience of my life. It took a year before I was eating and drinking normally all day long, and it’s still a way my body tells me when I’m not being true to myself or am feeling trapped and unsafe.
I never, ever want to experience anything like it again, ever. And I’m also grateful for the ways it forced me to set better boundaries, learn how to speak up, and honor my needs in every situation. How it caused me to start advocating for myself in a way I never could before.
There’s always a lesson and a gift, even in the most painful and unpleasant situations. Those lessons and gifts don’t always reveal themselves immediately though, it can take time.
Trust your journey, your body’s wisdom, your intuition, and yourself.
And have your own back.