“The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.” ― Charles Baudelaire
Looking through my old journal I find myself at a set of train tracks which if I choose to cross will take me to the dusty town I used to live in, filled with nights of pressing my ribs to make sure they still protruded and days of heavy eyelids from not sleeping. If I choose to cross the tracks I can go back to the barren land of self-abuse and hatred with it’s county jail filled with only one occupant: me.
If I choose to cross the tracks I will meet again with the devil and shake his hand firmly, look him square in the eye and say politely: Fuck Off.
So, here I go. I am at a set of tracks and I will cross them and go back to that dusty little town so I can take back what I left there. So I can grow and expand and share with anyone what is truly possible in terms of healing and discovery.
I will not go back to that town and live there. I will go back and reclaim what was mine.
I will share what I found with you, there in that old cowboy town.8/2/1995
I am already dreading waking up tomorrow morning because I wake up so depressed. Tomorrow I will NOT wake up depressed. I refuse! I am in control of my life. Of my emotions. No more waking up depressed, no more binge eating. I am the only person in control of my life. No more feeling sorry for myself.
Tomorrow I will not feel guilty for all the food I ate tonight. I will MAYBE eat some fruit. I will not be sad. I will not obsess. I will get in shape and lose weight. I won’t night eat anymore. I am certainly in control. I am NOT fat.
Why do I hate myself so much? Why am I so self destructive? Why do I feel so down and unworthy? Why do I feel so ugly? Why do I obsess over food? Why do I have such a fucked up relationship with food?
Well… No More!
I am so bloated. I am not eating anything else today. All week I ate so much. Pasta, potato chips, Indian food. Raisins! My new diet starts today. My does my face look so fucking ugly?
I don’t want to be this way. I want to be normal.From now on I can deal with hunger. I’ll eat my own hunger.
There is nothing alive in that town anymore. There are some cobwebs and old bones and skeletons. I took back any leftover parts of me that remained back in that town on a dirt road on the other side of the tracks. I have crossed back over an cobwebbed brought back with me those pieces I would like to share in the name of What Is Possible.
So what is possible?
~Eating without feeling guilty. In fact, eating with bliss!
~Looking back at old diaries and not recognizing them, as if you are reading fiction.
~Waking up happy.
~Not determining your worth by your weight.
~Letting go of old broken mind tapes.
~ Inspiring others to heal.
and so so much more.
I found this paragraph in the same entry form 1995 and I thought it was very hopeful as it is an utterly true prediction of who I am today, in 2012.8/2/1995 I want to be happy and secure and not worry and have friends and enjoy life. I am the only one in control of my life. I, not anyone else, am the only person who can make myself happy. I am the only possible person who can be in control of my life.
That was a small glimmer of what was always inside me, even back then in that dusty town in 1995, a small glint of light appeared if only for a moment as if reflected off the back of car. It may have taken me 17 years or so to trace the source of that light but I can safely say I have captured it, bottled it and am reproducing it here for you.
You can heal. Whoever you are.
In 1995 I wrote I am the only person in control of my life. Maybe I read it in a book, or maybe I really wanted to believe it, who knows. I certainly didn’t believe it at the time. I didn’t live it.
The devil, not me, controlled my life back then.
So Fuck You Devil. Fuck You Anorexia. Fuck You any voice in the head that says You will always be this way. You will always be stuck.
The devil tries to come back every now and again, sometimes in disguise. But I am armed now. And ready.
He cannot trick me into thinking he doesn’t exist anymore. I have seen him.
And I have beat him down.
Jennifer Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, and more. Jen leads her signature Manifestation Retreats & Workshops all over the world. The next retreat is to Ojai, Calif over Labor Day. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: Seattle, London, Atlanta, South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Tucson & The Berkshires (guest speaker Canyon Ranch.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.