Keep Walking.

Today is the final day of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week for 2018 in Canada. As I sat pondering my past this morning, some words came to mind that I wrote back in 2003. I was in the thick of my battle with binge/purge type anorexia, and during this season of my life things were only going from bad to worse.

I was seventeen years old and had moved out on my own several months prior. To me, at that time, everything in life spelled discontentment and pain. All I wanted was a way out, and I kept on running away from everyone and everything good in my life in an attempt to find my escape.

I ran for years. From one job, one city, one relationship to the next, but it was never good enough. I thought my circumstances were the cause of my pain. But no matter where I went or what I did, I could never outrun my inner demons.

The words of the following song sum up the general sense of restlessness that plagued my spirit in those days. They tell the story of a girl who just wanted to disappear and be rid of it all—the sting of heartache, the tyranny of perfectionism. But in the final chorus, these words also point to a small, subtle spark of hope.

I’ve got a one way ticket
Going straight out of here
I’ve got nothing to stop me
I’ve got nothing to fear
I know it might sound crazy
It might sound weird
But I can’t wait any longer
‘Cause the longer I wait, the more it brings me to tears

Oh, walking down the road
The wind is against me but I can’t feel the cold
And I don’t know just what will unfold
No, I don’t know
While I’m walking down that road

Life has always been against me
I just cant ever win
And there’s always that constant battle
To be perfect, to be thin
Maybe one day I’ll find the power
Deep within
And it’ll wash away all the pain
And heal the scars hidden beneath my skin

Oh, walking down the road
The wind is against me but I can’t feel the cold
And I don’t know just what will unfold
No, I don’t know
While I’m walking down that road

Oh, looking down the road
It’s cold and dark but I know I can be bold
And I don’t know just what will unfold
No, I don’t know
But I’m walking down that road
No, I’ll never know
But I’ll keep walking down that road

It’s as though somehow, all those years ago, in the midst of the darkness and ugliness that surrounded me in every moment, I knew that it could get better. I didn’t necessarily think that it ever would. But I must have believed it could.

I guess that’s what hope is. In the kids program I work at, we define hope as “believing in what you CAN’T see, because of what you CAN see.” Back when I wrote this song, I couldn’t see what would happen. I couldn’t see myself recovering, overcoming my eating disorder, finding inner peace, and actually living a fulfilling life. But luckily I could see faint, hazy possibilities. I could see just enough to push me forward. Just enough to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking down that road.

And I guess that’s why I’m sharing this today. I realize that these lyrics are fairly depressing. But as I process them now, I actually see them as a picture of hope. Because today they tell a much bigger story than they did when I wrote them in 2003. Today they tell the story of a girl that didn’t give up. They tell the story of a girl who did find the power within to heal those deeply buried scars. They tell the story of a girl who kept on walking down the road until she found the freedom she was looking for.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. My life is proof that full recovery is possible. I have now lived over a decade free of my eating disorder. I kept walking toward the tiny spark of hope that I saw in the distance, and it led me to healing. It can do the same for you.

Whether you are struggling with an eating disorder today, or another mental illness, or you’re simply struggling to keep your head above water, don’t lose hope.

Keep fighting. Keep believing.

Keep walking.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please don’t suffer alone. I urge you to seek help from a local mental health professional, or by contacting the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (toll free: 1-866-633-4220). Furthermore, while I am not a professional, I am always available to answer any questions that you may have for me, to offer encouragement and support, and to pray for you.

2 thoughts on “Keep Walking.

  1. Elma says:

    What an inspiration to KEEP WALKING…..to not lose sight of that glimmer of HOPE. Talasi, thanks for blogging. I always enjoy reading your blogs. I appreciate your openness and honesty. Blessings as you journey on!!!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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