I went home for 5 weeks.
There is so much to say and so much to leave out, but there are things that are important to remember:
- Home will always be home
- My heart is Africa
- Peace eludes me
I don’t know where I belong. I am not sure that I have ever known. I live in self-imposed exile in North America, always threatening to return to Africa and yet, I never go. There is always a reason, an excuse not to make the long journey back for good. So I wander, listless, lost, longing for a life I can’t quite get back to.
When I do go home, I feel this deep sense of peace. It sits in my soul and weighs me down with its entirity. It overwhelms and encapsulates me. Africa…the smell, the sound, the sense of being back where I came from. This is my childhood, my dreams, my family, my roots. This is my nation, my people, my culture, my language, my setting sun.
While I was home I found myself in some sort of ED remission. I didn’t actively do anyting about it. I restricted the first week, binged the second week and ate normally the next 3 weeks. I didn’t purge once the entire time.
I encountered all my childhood triggers:
- my dysfunctional family
- my controlling father
- my need for approval and acceptance and perfection and, and, and…
My family brought all sorts of anxiety out in me. I sat at numerous meals listening to my grandmother talk about how she didn’t need to eat and could happily never eat again, all whilst shoveling food into her mouth. She recounted the evils of food every time she lifted a morsel to her lips. I listened to her bemoan being fat and having no thyroid and I saw myself 50 years from now playing the same record.
I chose not to go to gym – not to revist old friends or reaquaint myself with old demons. I chose to lie in the sun in my bikini and breathe. I chose to drink wine and laugh and cry with my mother, my aunty, my sister-in-law, my girlfriend. I chose to sit under the southern cross and talk to God.
I came back feeling the same as when I left, but suddenly in the last 3 weeks, I have ballooned. I have expanded and filled out and got wide, thick, heavy, portly, fat, repulsive. I have had no desire to go to the gym. My old church beckons me to come and worship and I am suddenly agnostic. I am apathetic. I eat with no remorse. I comfort myself with carbs and wine and cry myself to sleep. I don’t want to be here. I don’t know how to be there. I lost so much of myself in between that I no longer know who I am.
But I see pasta and I see my problems disappear.