Last year, I was cast as a chorus member in a dance-heavy production of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. By the time the show was put on, I was emaciated and in too much pain even to raise my arm above my head and walk up stairs without needing to rest and catch my breath. I was stupid enough to put myself onstage despite feeling faint 24/7. I was stupid enough to dance on a daily basis only a week after getting sent to the hospital. I was stupid enough to think that, because the show must’ve had to go on, I still had to, as well, after 10+ doctors told me not to.
I’ve now been immersed in a five-week rehearsal process in preparation to play the part of Jack in Into the Woods. I’m running, dancing, jumping, falling, and singing all throughout a two-and-a-half hour show. And it isn’t killing me. It isn’t killing me because I am no longer killing me.
Since I started working as a moderator for edrecoveryproblems, I’ve gained a huge audience of followers who are currently in recovery. Now, I am no pro at recovery; keeping up with my health has been more than difficult, but let me tell you, friends, this right here is why I’m in recovery. While it was more than dangerous to be involved in a musical last fall, the contrast I have between these two fall semesters has reminded me that, in these past ten months, my energy, my concentration, my talent, and my relationships have improved immensely. I am no longer too exhausted to talk across the room to talk to people. I can now remember conversations I’ve had and lessons I’ve learned. I can live. Sure, I’m still overwhelmed (almost on a daily basis) by the grip anorexia still has on me, but this process of healing has made it so much easier to separate myself from these anxieties.
Especially after one of my directors told me to think of ‘Giants in the Sky’ as if it were about coming home after your first semester of college, I felt a weight on me that reminded me that I have been to hell and back, but, in that time, I have changed, grown up, and have ultimately become a better person for what I have fought through.
And now, I leave this sappy reflection with an out-of-context but applicable snippet from ‘Moments in the Woods,’ because I am disgusting:
These are dangerous woods.
Let the moment go.
Don’t forget it for a moment, though.
Just remembering you’ve had an “and,”
when you’re back to “or,”
makes the “or” mean more
than it did before.
Now I understand—
and it’s time to leave the woods.