I can’t officially declare where I’m going with this. 🤔
I’m stuck at a crossroads in my mind. I don’t know the destination of either path, but I can certainly take a good guess as to where one of them may end up. The road that looks familiar, the road that seems the easiest & the safest option, or… the one that leads to uncertainty. The unpredictable, scary route. The route that’s potentially extremely challenging, but also the path that might have the most scenic views & the most beautiful memories. The path I’ve often gone skipping down just to be dragged back by my twin again.
Of course, I’m talking about the path lead by anorexia or the path guided by myself. Either way…Anorexia will be with me, but it’s whether or not I dare to trust 1, myself & 2, other people along the way. Anorexia doesn’t like the idea of the path lead by me because she naturally feels extremely threatened & she senses that this path has more opportunities for me & less for her & she hates the very notion of that.
You’d think that I’d naturally leap towards the path of opportunity, but the other path… the other path is the path of least resistance. That path allows for less arguments. It’s a less mentally exhausting route. I don’t have to battle against the thoughts this way…I just do as I’m told because it’s easier. Ultimately though…I know where it goes & as blunt as it may be…it’s certain death down there. Now again…you may think ‘well, why would you go down there then?’ To me it’s simple…which ever path I take…my death is pending. We all die. That’s life. Shit happens. (Forgive me for being so blunt & depressing, but…it’s true). I know following Anorexia down there will likely mean that my life is much shorter, but to me…it may also be the option of having an easier way out…a crash-course through the pain on that way out. A quicker way of ending pain & suffering. At some point…the path will get narrower & obviously this is metaphorical, so instead I’ll explain…simply put, that narrowing refers to less opportunity for life in every sense of the word. It becomes more difficult to move & you get to a point where the walls are either side of you & you can barely move at all & at that point you could try your hardest to back out & essentially follow that long path out somehow. Maybe you get lost or even lose your life on the way back. If you stay there…you just wait. Your life becomes a fragile ticking time bomb. Everything feels difficult. It’s a boring existence, but you aren’t facing another solid concrete wall & that’s the most painful part – you still get to watch everyone else’s lives unfolding, as you watch through a large peep hole in front of you, as life passes you by. You catch a glimpse of another life & you’re there constantly questioning what could have been, but equally… too scared & too trapped to go back or to even know if going back would be possible anymore. Ultimately…you die there. Completely unfulfilled, but you foresaw this. You have regret, but you also have relief in not having to face anymore painful situations in life. You also sink comfort in knowing you won’t die alone. You will die with Anorexia & you will die without having to face constant battles with her. Anorexia will tell you before you take your last breath that it was worth it because the other path potentially would have faced you with a battleground. This path was always going to be safe because you’d been here before. This path offered strong walls that shielded you from a mad, bad world, but…the same walls that protected you from pain were also the same ones that made it difficult to breathe. The walls that eventually suffocated you. The same walls preventing you from experiencing another life. This path may ‘seem’ safe & familiar right now, but ‘safe’ doesn’t allow for personal growth. This isn’t a path that allows for living, it’s one with nothing but an offering of ‘existence’ until you come face-to-face with your fate.
‘Safe’ really doesn’t always mean that it is safe.
What does that alternative path offer? I don’t know. And that is what is so extremely frightening. How do I know that I don’t start walking down here only to get hit by a different kind of bomb? How do I know that I won’t face a world of suffering…and I’m not just talking about my own, but also the suffering of others? How can I witness the suffering of others? What if I can’t offer them enough? How do I protect myself on this path without the comfort of those strong, tall walls that the other path provides me with? How do I survive that battleground that is bound to be waiting there right around the corner?
Simply put…I don’t know & I don’t know because I’ve never properly given myself a chance to FULLY explore it. I’ve braved stepping onto that path many times before & retreated right back over & over again in fear. Anorexia dragging me right back to safety. But now I’m beginning to question whether or not that battleground exists or if it’s just a myth. Maybe it’s just something Anorexia has told me about to prevent me from seeing what’s really there. The other path stops the pain. Anorexia injects me with a numbing agent & nothing can hurt me, but that same numbing agent also stops the good feelings too.
The truth is…I don’t really properly know what this other path involves. I’m not naïve…I know there will be challenges & trials & tribulations, but how do I know whether or not it’s worth facing them unless I face them? Those challenges may seem pretty tough, but maybe the reward on the other side makes it all worthwhile?
I see a storm cloud at the start of this path. I see a woodland filled with thorns offering a nice covering of deep scratches & potential scars. This path is bound to hurt at the beginning. It’s going to leave me cut open, it’s going to leave me wounded & exhausted. It’s going to reveal my weaknesses & leave my vulnerabilities’ exposed. And I have no doubt in the world that it might make me feel defeated. I’m being offered a scary, unknown path & I’m being offered it at the expense of handing over my body armour…Anorexia has always been my body armour shielding me from threat, but how will I ever learn if I can heal if I never let myself get hurt…how will I know whether or not I need the weight of that body armour if I never leave it behind? I feel like a tortoise being asked to remove its protective shell…the place that it calls home.
This path ‘seems’ so much scarier than the other one. It’s uncertain. It’s unknown, but…I only ever get the biased, catastrophising opinion of Anorexia. What if I can do this after all? What if I trust someone else & take their hand instead when I need help? Maybe there’s more behind the dark clouds? Maybe there’s a colourful rainbow on the other side where the end of the woodlands meets the sunshine? Maybe after the initial fight through these trees…maybe there’s a more fulfilling and beautiful life on the other side? This path may be more challenging, but maybe it’s worth it if I stick to it for long enough?
The thing that’s preventing me from automatically falling for the anorexic path is currently my curiosity. Is it enough to be curious?
Is this seemingly scarier alternative direction actually much more safe than the other one? Does Anorexia really offer protection or is she the thing that I need protecting from?
I find myself currently – STILL – standing at this crossroads with the same question preventing me from taking a step down either… ‘What if?’
What if I make the wrong decision?
What if I fail?
But the truth is… you can always answer a what if question with another what if question.
A quote that rings home to me is “But what if I fall?’ ‘Oh, but my darling…What if you fly?’’
Curiosity…is it enough?
Well…I don’t know, but I’m never going to know unless I give it a chance.
I believe I know what the ‘right’ decision is, but ‘sometimes the right path is not the easiest one’.
I can stand at this crossroads how ever long I please, but if I’m honest…indecision is a decision within itself & it’s a decision I’m not willing to spend much more time ‘umming & ahhing’ over. I’ve returned to this junction too many times before & I’m so bored of it.
The path of least resistance? Or the ‘right’ path?