So I read an article on how to set goals. It reminded me of my yoga practice (“take a moment and set an intention for your practice; why are you here, what are you here for?”). Also, it reminded me of my future perspectives. Three main goals colored my life: 1) No more Ritalin, 2) No more Nicotine gum, 3) No more Dulcolax. Plenty of people take medicines to survive daily life society. I decide not to. However, when growing up, I got used to my little list of addictions, too. Now, I would love to come clean.
Goal 1: done. Although it is still quite hard to focus and concentrate, I do feel slightly better than before. I feel more pure. I am more me. I am no longer directed by chemicals, changing my mood. My dopamine-levels are back to normal. I am more in control of my emotions, although they do pop up randomly, at any time of the day. I am less interested and motivated for school, but I do reflect more often on my natural passions and skills. For that, I feel as if I am making progress. Well done.
Goal 2: Almost done. I know now that I am able to no longer chew Nicotine gum. I can chew normal gum, although I do prefer the Nicotine substance – it is more chewy and takes more time to digest. Also, it helps me concentrate and keeps me away from food. However, as it is a bad habit, I decided to quite. Instead, I am eating a lot of carrots.
Goal 3: Work in progress. I started using Dulcolax when I was 10. I found it in my mom’s drawer and I read about it in a magazine. I felt fat. I was little, confused, disorientated and disappointed by all the change happening around me. I used it once. I felt so sick that I spent the whole night in the bathroom. The morning after I was as light as a feather. Empty mind, empty stomach, empty perspectives. I felt perfectly fine.
Years went by and I started using Dulcolax more frequently. I got used to the dosage and started taking more pills in less time. Things got pretty bad. When I was 17, I got hospitalized for 7 months in a specialized clinic “for teenage girls with eating disorders”. I did not stop using Dulcolax. I learned how to eat “as normal people do”, but as soon as I got out of the clinic, I learned that “normal” does not exist. I had to develop my own eating pattern, based on my personal preferences, feelings and friends. Then, I went to the University. For the first time in my life, I was in actual control of – everything. Things got better. I got pretty skinny, I had good grades, plenty of friends and a feel for the future. I felt fine.
When I was 20, I moved to Paris. There, I learned to eat “for real”. I started drinking alcohol, served with bread, butter, grapes and cheese. I ate with friends, I went to restaurants, spend nights at clubs and mornings in the park, having breakfast at noon and dinner at night. In sum: I learned how to live life the Burgundian way. I loved it.
After Paris, I had gained several pounds. I felt horrible. Not in Paris – in Paris, everything felt fine. At home, things felt terribly different. I returned to Belgium with one matter on mind: I have to lose those pounds.
I lost all of them, quite quickly. I started re-using Dulcolax after meeting a boy from overseas. We fell in love and traveled the world, together, for a while. Eventually, we broke up. I remember using Dulcolax for the first time, in a long time, after I visited him in Tokyo. His last words, before I got on the plane back home: “I love having you around, but I’m not sure if I am going to miss you. I think I need some time alone, now”.
I recovered. It took me some time and an awful lot of partying, but eventually, I felt better. I left to Bali for the summer and spent another month in New York, with people I met in Indonesia. Then, I started working as a lawyer. Under pressure of work, friends, family and – maybe most of all – my own rigid standards, I started reusing Dulcolax. To delete whatever failure I felt, whatever wound I thought bleeding. I knew I had to leave. I had to find my way out, figure things out, and leave.
And so I left. I left to the United States. It was one big adventure, a roller coaster ride through a sea full of stars - most of all, for me, a time out. For the first time, I realized that taking Dulcolax is bad for my body. I am ruining my natural metabolism for the purpose of being skinny. Part of me is calm. The pills are designed for a regular medical purpose: using them is making use of the regular medical framework, FDA approved. Why should I be worried? Another part of me knows the truth. It is addictive, it made me go to the hospital and it harms my physical nature. I may no longer use it – period.
I haven’t used Dulcolax for a while now. I know why: I am loved. Still, the battle is hard to fight. Sometimes, in the morning, after another night out or a dinner in town, I could cry – I ate. I ate dessert, I drank alcohol, I did not remove the cheese or butter from my plate – I ate. Currently, I feel quite fat. Honestly, I feel as if I haven’t been fatter before. I’m not sure if it’s true. Still, I feel a failure. I gave up my strict rules and I gave in to “normal” dining. I’m not sure whether I will have to look much further for the truth: I am feeling rather disappointed, but maybe this road will lead in the long run to happiness. As in: I am no longer perfect, no longer the skinniest girl in town, but I will be able to live freely, make love, and go for 21st century dining.
I think I am making progress – slowly, but certain. I am sure that I would like to live my future life differently: I will marry a nice guy, cook for him at night and take care of my children. Therefore, I am sure that I will adapt my food pattern, for the purpose of my own destiny. I probably shouldn’t worry that much, as most of the time, everything turns out fine. I might have too much time to think, and I definitely feel the pressure of figuring things out before I go back home. I don’t want to go back to how things were before. I am certainly stronger now – I hope I am strong enough.
Note: After reading my article, I might have to frame things differently. I am strong enough. I will do things differently. I will not go back to the way things were before. I can only move forward. So forward we go. Together.