Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Little Balloon that Could...and Did

Jan 15, 2013

So tonight I did a balloon release for my dad. I thought it would be freeing and a cool experience, little
did I know my dad had a whole lesson in it for me. It all started with my balloon. My balloon..tied with all my insecurities and struggles…a little representation of me…this is its story.

I released the balloon expecting it to fly away with all the others that floated freely to the sky, but things didn’t work out that way. My little balloon and two others got stuck in a tree. The other balloons floated away in peace….freeing their holders of the captivity of what they wrote. But mine…it got stuck. I could relate to the little balloon. As it watched its friends go on. Recover, laugh, be free. As it watched the other balloons flying free it reminded me of watching others around me recover, watching people in the dining hall eat whatever they want, and feeling stuck. Wishing I too could be free. But being held back, trapped in the branches of life, loss, and ED.

The other two balloons stuck behind almost gave up. Just hung themselves in the branches deeming life was just too hard. There was no reason to fight. But not my balloon. We all stood in wonder as it pushed through the branches. It got tangled up but then reversed itself. I could see it struggling. Trying to take lunges forward, but it was held back by the paper tied to it. Held back by the worries, insecurities, fear. But it kept fighting. It was so desperate to be free. It didn’t want to give up. This balloon was me. Fighting against life…trying to break free. Sometimes I make mistakes and get myself more stuck, but then I reverse and try another way…try again. But I keep being held back by my fear, insecurities, doubts.

We all watched and the others with me chuckled. They started to give up on the balloon. But I refused. I kept believing this balloon would break free. Then something amazing happened. In one final push..the paper moved and the balloon was freed. We all looked on in amazement. It showed me what perserverance and belief can do. The balloon just needed someone to believe in it…just one person and it had the strength to push one more last time and be free.

The balloon took off. This was its chance for freedom, for victory, but the paper pulled it down, another tree came, and again it sat stuck. I know how it felt. I push so hard in recovery sometimes. Get up the courage and strength to face my fears and commit to recovery, then something comes along whether it be the 90 lb mark, unforeseen death of my dad, stress, whatever branches life puts out in front of me and I get stuck.

Honestly in that predicament the balloon was exactly where I am right now. I just feel so tired of fighting..I just keep getting stuck. Life keeps happening. ED seems the thing to cling onto, but all that is doing…clinging to ED…is getting me stuck in the tree. I watched the little balloon. I didn’t want to give up on it…honestly..because I didn’t want to give up on myself. If that balloon stayed stuck what would it mean for me? That I really can’t let go of all these things? That I won’t be free.

My friends dispersed and it started to get cold. I stared at the balloon…wished it luck…begged it to break free…and left it to go to dinner with my friend. It sounds silly but it hurt to leave the balloon there..stuck and desperately fighting. Why? Because I felt it was me…giving up on myself. But I walked away…having hope the balloon would find the strength to fight. That someone…something would come along and break it free. This is where I am now too. People are moving on, life is moving on…and I’m still stuck and fighting and I feel so alone. I know I have friends and family supporting me, but still without their physical presence…without the physical presence of my dad…I just feel alone.

I enjoyed the time with my friend but still I thought of that little balloon…out there in the dark..alone. Was it still fighting? Was it free? Had it given up? It was so hard to leave it alone, but there was nothing I could do to help it.

After dinner I went back to my dorm and as I passed the tree where I had left the balloon I wearily looked up. All I saw was sky. That’s balloon. I even looked nearby on the ground to see if it had popped and fallen. I looked to the trees nearby sure it had gotten snagged somewhere else. But it was nowhere to be found…it was free. Tears started to well in my eyes.

You see this balloon had struggled, been trapped, broken free only to be stuck again and again. To have life and ED hold it back. Finally people left it…moved on with their lives hoping, praying it would be free but knowing there was nothing they could do. This balloon…left found its own strength. It kept fighting. It never gave up. It didn’t let anyone or anything tell it it couldn’t be free. That it wasn’t strong enough of good enough. And left there alone…it relied on its ownstrength…it fought for fought for what it wanted. Not to prove anything to anyone because no one was there. But just to be free..because that was it wanted. It fought for itself not for anyone else. And it was in that moment…alone…being strong in itself…it broke free.

 This is me. I am here…I have a N, I have friends, I have family. They are praying and hoping for my recovery..but I am sitting here..alone. I have to do this for myself. For my dreams. For ME.

The branches aren’t gonna move…life will keep happening.

The paper won’t fall…ED and fears will still be there.

No one is going to climb up and save me…I just have myself and my God.

But if I keep fighting….if I fight for me and rely on the strength of my God…I will have that final push I need to be free. I will get that final gust of wind and break free. I don’t need someone cheering me on. I don’t need (though I want) my dad physically there. I just have to know people are hoping in me…I have to believe in myself..fight for my dreams…and I will be free. Life will try to hold me back, fear will try to hold me back, but I have the fight and strength to be free.

And in the end…when I do break free…people will come back expecting to see me stuck just like I did with the balloon. They will look in amazement when they don’t see me where I was. They will look on the ground wondering if maybe life got to much, but they won’t find me there. They will look to the other trees…sure I got stuck somewhere else. They won’t find me there. Then they will look to the sky, see the shining star and realize that is where I am…I am free. And my hope and prayer is in realizing I broke free they will realize they can break free too. They will realized their strength and the strength of God and they will start to fight. They will learn from me as I have learned from this balloon. They will see they are the little balloon that could…and they will be the little balloon that did. 

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