Monday, August 16, 2010

“Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” - Elizabeth Gilbert

If it isn't obvious from the quote in the title, I just saw Eat, Pray, Love. This is not a post about the movie or the book (I recommend both, the book more so than the movie. Isn't that always the case?) This post is about ruin. This post is about transformation. This is a concept I've been thinking about for weeks, since I read the book of essays by Eula Biss. I had an entire post devoted to it. Gilbert says "“Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation” and Eula Biss says, "there is always some promise in destruction." I agree with both.

My eating disorder was certainly destructive. It certainly left my entire life in ruin. But would I be the person I am today without it?

I would never wish an eating disorder on anyone. I know that most people can't even begin to imagine how serious they are--how destructive. How deadly. Anorexia is contradictory in the eyes of society. On one hand, the overly thin are glamorized and idealized. On the other hand, they're ridiculed. The point is that people are judgmental and fickle. If you're too fat they'll tell you to slim down. Once you get too slim, then they'll tell you to fatten up. I've been on both sides of the spectrum and I wasn't happy at either. Unlike a lot of people who develop anorexia, I was slightly overweight when my eating disorder began. I wasn't obese, but I wasn't thin either. By the time anorexia was finished with me, I'd lost 80 lbs. I was a skeleton. I was sick. I was dying. And it still wasn't good enough for anyone. The people who used to say I was chubby now said I'd gone way too far, as if it was their place to decide how I should look. Now my weight is somewhere in between. I'm not overweight and I'm not underweight. I'm tired of being pulled in either direction.

Like anyone else who has overcome an eating disorder or any other major struggle, I'm not left with bruises, I'm left with scars. Some of them are deeper than others. But they will all heal. I have never been content with myself. I wasn't happy when I was chubby. I wasn't happy when I was skinny. I didn't love myself high and I didn't love myself low.

Here is to balance.

Here is to contentment. To courage. To strength.

I am thankful for all I've been through because it's brought me where I am:

Somewhere in the middle between healing and happiness.



  1. to balance! cheers <3
    love you and your inspiration, as always!

  2. This was a really nice, human post. The image pepole have of anorexia and thiness is so screwed up in society and its get me so mad, but I wont go there. Im happy for u that u are feelibg more content and i think the phrase 'what doesnt kill u makes u stronger' can come into play here.

  3. a very beautifully written post! right now you radiate confidence :)

  4. Since you've had to deal with ED, you might as well embrace what you've learned to help better yourself with each day, right? You knew that already, though. Don't smother your scars.

    "Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground." -Albus Dumbeldore

    To balance <3

  5. This was a beautiful post. I stumbled over this post while trying to find the author or the quote you used in your title. I would call finding this blog FAITH! I life is a struggle and we all know that and your words have encourgaed me to keep fighting. I have never had an eating disorder or any sort and neither do I know someone but I appreciate this blog because of your real natural and the courage you have to not let your obstacle control and consume you. Thanks you so much for your great work and keep the great work up!

  6. I found your page by googling "ruin is the road to transformation" and your blog popped up. I'm on my way to pick up the book right now! I enjoyed reading this post, just thought I should let you know :)