Friday 21 November 2008

Uproot, upsize your world

After yesterday’s post about the International Eating Disorders Centre, Aylesbury, someone asked whether I think you have to have faith to make progress there. Of course people of all faiths and none use the Centre effectively, but some kind of faith about yourself has to grow, I suppose, for treatment to work. And if staff have faith that takes the form of unconditional acceptance, Grace, all sorts of things begin to seem possible.
I’ve now managed to capture the script of Suz Hemming’s dance on Tuesday. She’s one of the most inspiring people I’ve met. She thinks kinetically, and is recovering from an eating/exercise disorder. They are a message of hope for anyone who’s gotten into the habit of boxing themselves up in a place that’s to small to sustain real life:
This world is so unfathomable in its magnitude 

It's so chaotically huge, 

I'm a large person, a MASSIVE person, 

And I DON'T mean my body 

Even though it FEELS huge, 

Even now,

But my mind; your mind; the mind itself,
is infinite beyond of all comprehension,

Interconnected pathways, brim to overflowing 

With masses of meticulously defined
thoughts, feelings and notions, 

Big ideas, obese with possibilities, 

FAT with opportunities

Measure the world in women's clothing sizes
and it's in the outsize collection, 

It's the 36GG bra, the big granny knickers,

It's a colossal giant of a place to inhabit

Why make your home within it so insignificantly small? 

Why dull the mammoth scale of colours,
sounds and tastes careering through your body?

To be a skeleton of the life you knew,

on a catwalk so big
it could consume what's left of you
The Size ZERO body is a label for 

ZERO creativity, ZERO Passion,
ZERO spontaneity, ZERO Fulfilment; 


Still I've tried to edit my rainbow,

Safe black and white
mixed with an off peach pallor skin, 

Made my world
as big and unexciting
as a mini rice cake, 

I've had bones bruise from lying down,
felt cold in a 25°c room, 

Passed out on a treadmill,

(needless to say I was running in completely the wrong direction) 

Staring at a plate of food in tears, 

Having food eat me rather me eat it, 

I've fallen when I go to stand,
and been out of control 

by the very measures I took to contain and mediate my life, 

I've eaten, and I've starved, 

I've lived and then I've pretended to live,

But now I've chosen to up roots, 

and move into my body
like a new home on moving day, 

I'll buy some new furniture for my mind, 

And throw out the old décor I don't need anymore, 

It'll take a while I know ... to feel like I'm at home,

And I'll miss my old house,
and the neighbours that came with it, 

All skinny and all just as sick as me,
But this house is warmer and brighter
throughout the year, 

And has a big comfy bed to sleep in,
because sleeping is no longer a sin, 

And an average size kitchen
where cupboards are allowed to have food, 

And a lounge big enough to throw a party in,

now I've gotten back a social life 

and the energy to dance again,

And though there will always be a part of me 

That holds that kind of nostalgic idealism
for that house in which I used to live,

That recalls why I moved there in the first place, 

And stayed there as long as I did 

I don't wish to sell up and move back in, 

I don't wish to look upon
that tiny broken down shell again, 

Sit within its small cold rooms alone

Because this house can be as big
as it needs to be to house the person inside it,

BIG really IS beautiful
IMMEASURABLE world out there 

And it's spectacular, 

It's Beautiful 

And I know if I try, I can be beautiful too

Just give me time, 

And I know I can recover my body, 

Make Recovery my home,

And so can you 

Recovery IS possible, 


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