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9.13.2010

utah


it was about three weeks in when my face puffed up. it was ever so slight. hardly discernible to others, i'm sure.

but for me. i knew. i knew it was the signaling of the slipping to the other side of the line. you know, that slippery line separating happiness from oh-er-not-quite.

i was twenty when i first slipped. when i first became sad. and i have spent the subsequent five years working my way back. fighting for both air and light.

i have made lists. reminding myself to get out of bed and brush my teeth. to lock the door behind me and bring a book for the subway ride. to turn on music and turn to those who love me despite my many failings (and flailings). to sing in the shower (or try. to try, at least).

and oh the progress i have made! and oh the work that has been put into it. the choices made day after day. conscious. with great effort. until they became habit. the constant movement of kicking legs under still water. effortless. (or something like it).

but three weeks into utah my face puffed up. and i slipped again. and i watched as the happiness that i had fought so desperately for--that happiness that took near five years--that happiness that was more often thought than experience--more hope than faith--slipped through my grasping fingers. and. it. was. agony.

i think it might be harder the second time. because you know the path. and you know just how terrifying that trail can be.

and the thing was, i was happy. before i left--just a mere three months ago--i was really happy.

something happened at the start of this year. my tangled string of thoughts began to organize itself. and the thoughts became manageable and efficient. and this base level of happiness rolled out before me. and i met a guy who made me feel beautiful as i hadn't in quite some time. and life rolled on. gloriously. because there was sense. and feeling beyond sense. transcendence. even in my directionless, haphazard life there existed a little bit of bliss. and when some version of what always happens happened, and the guy became not-the-right-guy, and my heart broke just a little, i was still okay. yes, there was sadness, but it was passing. of a different plane. and because i was still okay, i was buoyant, even as i cried myself to sleep at night.

and somewhere not long after all this i got a little message. asking me to come to utah. to give acting a whirl. and because it was the absence of happiness and its accompanying companion (the eating disorder) that had driven me from theatre, forced me to take time to focus on those aforementioned little things like getting out of bed (and making said bed) i thought, why not? of course. i am well now. i can do this. i can see if i'm ready. to go back. to resume my path.

and so i went. and so i watched. as that happiness--that hard-won, hard-fought happiness slipped and slid away.

and i wanted to die. i wanted to get down on the cool, wet, utah grass, under that heaven of a star-lit sky and disappear into the ground.

because i didn't think i had the fight left in me for a second-go-of it.

but here i am. i survived (or some version of that). and there's always a little more fight. right?

it's just gonna take some time.

i know there must be a reason for all of this. that it's just another turn on this tricky little path. it's a patch of mud--a little muck, that's all.

i'm sure that before i know i'll reach a clearing. and things will get easier. but until then... well, until then, i suppose i'll just keep making lists, and getting out of bed in the morning.

and maybe i'll be wrong. maybe this second time will be easier. and much more meaningful.

yes, more meaningful. let's go with that.




31 comments:

Shelby Lou said...

I love my life. I even bought a sticker for the back window of my car that say's Love Your Life. Well, at least I think I love my life. Because lately, I haven't been treating it with much respect. I moved back to Las Vegas for the second time and I can feel myself slipping away. Like you want to sink into the wet utah grass, I want to sink into the hard sharp dirt of Las Vegas and just melt away in the heat. I love to read your blog, and I think I'm finally coming to terms with my own enemies. Maybe I should start to make lists.

Emily Lou said...

dear meg,
i just thought that i should tell you that your writings inspire me. you inspire me. i hope that you find the strength to get back up on your feet and discover true joy within yourself. you seem like an extraordinary person with many talents, and i want you to know that i'm praying for you.
sincerely,
emily

kara lynn said...

i hurt for for you reading this. not to sound like this "i know what you are feeling" person. but golly sometimes this earth we sink into is quicker sand than we thought. even to this day to keep myself from sinking again. i think i know the ropes well enough i can prevent it. i am still learning. so thanks for teaching me with your words. love you girl!!

xo
k

delaney maloney said...

you are a stunning writer. and i am currently struggling in exactly the same way. every single day i make a list in hopes that somehow it will bring some semblance of happiness and help me to recover from my own personal NED. Thank you for expressing your thoughts so beautifully. i really enjoy reading your blog. (=

Emily said...

meg, you are amazing.
you did it once and i know, i know, i know you can do it again. and i do hope it's easier for you.
i so yearn that it's easier for you because i want you to be happy. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul7XLD_AZu8&ob=av2n

Signorina Svizzera said...

i am in my own version of utah right now. i knew all summer that this was coming but everyone said "you'll be fine" and so i pushed my worries aside. for the first two weeks i kept convincing myself i was 'fine', i could do this. and then...i realized i wasn't.
i love you for this post (for all your posts, really) because when you write about these things it makes me confront that which i try my best to ignore.
i will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. here's to nothing but the best the second time around <3
p.s. meg, if you ever write a book, i will be the first person in line.

NatTheFatRat said...

the way down is horrible but easy, and the way back up is a refining. i feel like i'm just coming back up too. it's interesting how much i fear the fall, even though i know it's inevitable, and even though i know i'm always better after it, in some small way? mostly, i just really loved this post.

Laura C said...

Every time we have to fight something, it makes us a little stronger, and a little more prepared for the next time.

I think this time will be a little easier. Maybe not that the road is smoother, but that your feet are more prepared to walk it.

you're the best :)

Katie said...

Here's what helped me. It's a little strange. Go on itunes podcasts and download the Dear Venus Show. She's a nut. She might have everything together or she might be just strange. I still haven't figure it out yet. It def. can't hurt:).

p.s. I live in Texas:)

Jewels said...

It's always hard feeling like a fish out of water, gasping for air; when everyday things seem to take other worldly strength to perform. I am sorry that you are having a tough time right now, but I truly believe that with experience comes the skill to better cope the next time life throws you a curve ball. Seems like you have gone through this before and helped get yourself out of an unhealthy place. Now having the skills needed to motivate yourself, cheer yourself up, and the wisdom to know you can count on friends and family, I have to believe you are ahead of that game.
Your writing, even when in pain is so hauntingly beautiful...never stop!

Bee Sarah Lee Bailey said...

meg,
i feel like you are my soul sister. i have been going through my own darkness recently. as in i dont get out of bed, i dont eat, i dont want to live ( and i dont have enough passion to die.) i call my best friends freaking out bc i dont want to be that girl. i have the world going for me i just could not find my passion. so for now i fake living hoping that in faking it i find my passion again. i adore you and this has made me feel not so alone. thanks or being you.

p.s. you can have nadal (sp) bc Novak Djokovic is my boyfriend. (this is a lie)

Rachel said...

i know that you probably get so many of these, but i think you should read my blog, because this post might kind of be dedicated to you.

http://thatprodigalchild.blogspot.com/2010/09/this-is-why.html

thanks for writing this.

Islandia Lane said...

since fairly new your blog, I don't know any back stories of you but can I say? you are a great writing. You are writing exactly how I (and I'm sure others) feel at any given moment. I slip in and out of these moments almost daily but I live my life in a way that makes me happy and I'm so thankful for everything I have and everything I've earned. and also, you're gorgeous so don't let that doubt in your head! ;-)

feel better soon!

Laura Marie said...

Oh, Meg... How I understand you. How I always understand you. And how I wish we could meet at a corner cafe for coffee because I'm telling you, one and the same. Seriously.

Hang in there and let yourself accept the tedious nature of baby steps. Sending positive thoughts :)

julianne rose said...

ola querida! i wrote a comment on your blog ages ago, and wanted to write again if it's ok :) as i had written before, i was severely anorexic for 4 years. i then had a 3 year hiatus - i was happy, healthy - struggling with small issues of depression/anxiety, but in general it was a fantastic time. then! then. i had a horrid relapse, this time into bulimia, and it came at a time when my life was turning around: i was moving to a new country, i was struggling through a destructive romantic relationship, and my eating disorder was my coping mechanism. i imagine this summer in utah was the same: i delved into my ED when my life was no longer certain - when i wasn't sleeping in the bed that i had to also convince myself to get out of. do you think it could be the same for you? please don't beat yourself up. i remember that feeling of being completely depressed at myself for having relapsed, and exhausted at the idea of pulling myself out again. but i did! i did i did. don't lose faith. remember how you are separate from your ED.

much love, i have all the faith in you!

Marisa said...

when you write.... i can feel it all the way through me and only wish I could express myself with such beauty as you do, I think that must be the first step towards recovery.

Amanda said...

I only know you through this blog but I can tell you are a fighter. Get it done girl :) xoxo

Miss Wendy said...

Utah sometimes makes me feel like I'm slipping too...but perhaps that's because this is where the slipping all began. And the falling, the falling definitely happened here too. And the bruised knees and broken spirit, it all happened right here, between these gigantic mountains.

Maybe a change of scenery is in order. I hope that once you get back to the scenery where you found that ever elusive happiness, you'll start to climb back up.

Hang in there, you amaze me and I'm so thankful I've found your blog. It's helped me in ways that I probably can't ever fully explain.

~BB~ said...

I must say dear - that your absolute transparency and heartbreaking honesty is, in and of itself, a testament to your strength. You'll get there - life is but a journey. It's one we must travel on, wearily at times, but with your talent, and your strength - you'll find within yourself the things you need to be happy. Best of luck on that Journey Meg - may it be a great one, made beautiful with rich discoveries...

communikate. said...

you have ways with words miss fee. incredibly beautiful ways.

i hope you find your rock back in nyc. you're beautiful, and don't you forget it!

angela hardison said...

something about the way you write pulls me in and has my whole heart wrapped up in your words. you are beautiful.

ditto to all the comments above: you seem like an amazing, incredible person. you'll find your way back. here's to hoping it happens quickly and (fairly) effortlessly.

Cassie said...

Oh sweet Meg-

The one word that came to mind as I read this was "protect." I, too, know about the second time...when you're scared to revisit what felt like had almost taken you out. Now, you can protect yourself better...you know limits when you feel them. Listen to yourself. You can manage and you'll prevail. I BELIEVE in you and your strong soul! You are an inspiring woman. Thanks for being so honest and true. xo

International Woman of Mystery said...

I just found your blog and have to say that this post gave me shivers. You describe it so well. I'm sorry that you are unhappy right now. I hope that you will regain your balance.

The Rookie said...

I like to think, at times like these, about line graphs. You know the ones that show the ebb and flow of a thing over an extended period of time. And these line graphs always have a divet or two, absolutely. The line rises, it falls; but the trend always seems to be rising upward.

Because the truth is that you are not back exactly where you started: you've learned so much and gained every bit of ground you've worked for. And while this is a sliding dip in that line, while it feels like a plummet, it is not possible (if you think in terms of line graphs) to ever return to the exact same place.

I don't know if that comforts you at all. I simply know that when I backslide into emotions or behaviors that hurt me, I visualize the line graph of my life, my mistakes, from a distance. I remember I don't have to be perfect at my life. I'm figuring this out as I go along. I'm just hoping the general trend of it all is up.

For the record, I saw you perform that first night of Romeo & Juliet. You were brilliant and lovely. But if it takes too much from you, your health and self-care, it isn't worth it. And if writing helps you feel your way through that, know that your words are every bit as brilliant and lovely as your performance.

My deepest apologies for the word-vomited-unsolicited-advice-from-a-complete-stranger. It is just that your words so often resonate deeply with me.

grace said...

dear meg, thanks for your sweet words and searching heart. please know that joy is something we'll always have to fight for but not something you should have to live without. there is a great Joy-giver and oh, how i pray you will come to know him and all the comforting love, oh the unwavering love he always offers. you are precious and to jesus, oh, you are so so incredibly precious to him.

seek, and ye shall find.

Anonymous said...

Hi Meg, I wanted to just let you know that I absolutely adore your blog. I read it religiously. Recently I experienced something similar to what you have with a boy. It's so comforting to know that we're not alone and in a way, even through the tears, I'm joyful. Joyful to feel...that much. It's cleansing to cry and acknowledge an emotion when we have it. I'm rooting for you and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. There is always, always light on the other side and I know that sometimes the darkness just helps illuminate ever so dramatically, the magnificent light (as it has for me and will I'm sure again). There will certainly be meaning and the discovery will be the best part.

bubble and squeak said...

I'm really impressed that you're brave enough to write this. I have total faith that things will get easier for you and better and you will be stronger than ever. Have faith. x

Britanny said...

wow, this was quite the piece of writing! obviously i don't know you and don't know exactly what you've been through, but i just wanted to tell you that i've felt what you are describing. and you do have fight, girl, alot of it. just keep making one upward step at a time. :)

Chelsea said...

I love how you write.

;)

Rachel said...

i just cried as i read this....because right now, the happiness i fought so hard for, the eating disorder i fight tooth and nail against....well....i feel like the world is slipping out from under me right now.....but i still fight...even the small victories, like getting out of bed - well....you know how it is...thank you for sharing, because although tears were shed...i smiled at the end of this post, because im not alone....thank you<3

Mary said...

the lists! i do that, i have that. oh, the lists. forever lists.