Sunday, August 14, 2011

Magic Incantations

"Adrenaline kicks in when you're starving. That's what nobody understands. Except for being hungry and cold, most of the time I feel like I can do anything. It gives me superhuman powers of smell and hearing. I can see what people are thinking, stay two steps ahead of them. I do enough homework to stay off the radar. Every night I climb thousands of steps into the sky to make me so exhausted that when I fall into bed, I don't notice Cassie.
"Then suddenly it's morning and I leap on the hamster wheel and it starts all over again."
- Laurie Halse Anderson,

NO. No no no no no! I was never this bad, but I came ever so close to beginning to get this bad. I got so good at not eating for days at a time, and weighing myself constantly, and feeling bad for wanting a veggie burger,* because Depression thinks I'm fat.

How did that even happen?

No, stupid question. Meaningless.

The important thing is that I have taught myself how to kick his ass, and I am strong enough to continue kicking his ass for the rest of my life (and maybe even teaching other people how to kick his ass -- 'cause he's a fuckface who'd kill us all if he could, slowly).

The important thing is that I, Ryan Timothy Bish, do not even recognize the person I used to be when he was in control. I am funny, I am brave, I am beautiful, I am intelligent, I am fucking fearless, I am insightful, I am the best big brother Cara or Abigail could ever hope for, I am the little brother Kiki chose as her own even though she already has one, I am confident, I am strong, I am so perceptive I can pretty much see the future, I am a stubbornly loyal friend, I am a total nerd and that is charming, I miss Dad but I'm not stuck in the past, I wish Mom acted like more of a friend but I'm not mad at her (okay . . . not constantly), I know what I want and I'm not afraid to let myself have it, I know what I want and I'm not afraid of not getting it, I read all the time, I pray even though I'm not sure who's listening and rather suspect I'm just talking to myself, I can't sing but that's not stopping me, I lost everything but I'm putting my life back together and it's the most personally enriching thing I've ever done, and he will never have any power over me ever again.

Because I won't give him any.

The power is ALL mine now, and literally anything is possible. Even if I don't actively try to make it happen, awesome stuff just can't stop happening to me.

Who knows what I'll do next?

P.S. Cassie is a ghost. If you want to know what happens to Lia (the narrator), I highly recommend picking up the book. But be careful. The author wrote it "because of the countless readers who wrote and talked to me about their struggles with eating disorders, cutting, and feeling lost." She did a supremely good job (although, um, OF COURSE SHE DID -- this is Laurie Halse Anderson we're talking about), so, even if reading a book about those subjects won't be a trigger for you, it is very . . . heavy. I've read it twice before; even though I know how everything is eventually going to play out, it is extremely difficult to read. Even more difficult than Speak. And that's saying something.

*Yes, I seriously have a "food journal" from November of 2009 where I regularly got mad at myself for wanting and then having a veggie burger. With soy cheese. I wish I were making this up as a really sick joke. But not so much.
I still have it, by the way. No one is allowed to read it, but I keep it to remind myself just how much Depression had encroached his way into every facet of my life -- and to remind myself of just how far I've come.

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