Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Eight of Cups β€” A. Daniloff 2012 Tarot

Tarot of Alexander Daniloff

Learning to Leave Behind Things that have Ceased to be of Use


The summer of 1993, when I was 20 years old, I exited the Benjamin Rush Recovery center in Syracuse, NY, where I had been an inpatient in the Eating Disorders Unit for five weeks. As much as I hated it there, I was terrified to leave. The remission rate for eating disorders is dismally low.


The previous semester in college I had: received a perfect 4.0 in all classes of my double major of English and Biology including the dreaded biochemistry of which I honestly had little interest; joined the cross-country team, earned myself Rookie-of-the-Year, MVP, and raced the national championships; and published poetry in a snooty magazine. I had also been bulimic, among other things, throwing up between eight and twenty times a day. I was a physiological, psychological disaster.


Upon leaving the recovery center, I moved into a little room with a hole in the wall in a moderately large house in Oswego, NY, where I lived unsupervised by doctors, nurses, and shrinks. I gave myself one allowance and one rule: I could eat any I wanted, as long as I did not throw up.


Change takes a long time.


It was ten years before I allowed myself to say, β€œOkay, maybe I shouldn’t eat just anything.” Since then, I have been exploring ways to heal and recover through food rather than in spite of food.


I got better.

I think I am getting better.

Anyhow, I thought I was getting better.


I was recently diagnosed with Graves Disease. My visit with the endocrinologist was more or less an explanation of a handful of ways to destroy my disobedient thyroid. Shocking, really, as I feel more-or-less okay other than chronic insomnia and lethargy and stinky farts. Why would I want to get rid of my thyroid? Why can’t we all just get along?


Some people have managed Graves Disease through diet. It means a lot of rules. I wish I had an expert to guide me. Nonetheless, I am going to try.


Healing means:

learning to leave behind behaviors which have ceased to be of any use

and finding new behaviors to fill the void.

5 Responses

  1. Saw your link on Aeclectic Tarot! Wanted to share enthusiasm for Tarot blogging πŸ™‚ Of course mine is Glad to see more Tarot Blogs on the net. Good Job!


  2. Bonkers says:

    oh EDs…the one thing that, in over ten years, I’ve never managed to figure out how to leave behind…

    In any case, best of luck managing your symptoms.

    (Always makes my day to see new posts on here :])

    • Jessica says:

      I studied yoga with Ana Forrest [she’s famous, in case you don’t know, which I say because I didn’t know at the time] because (1) she had a horrible back injury & all the doctors said surgery & she decided to heal it herself through yoga & I thought, “gosh, I could learn from this woman” and (2) she had a history of eating disorders.

      I asked her about the ED. She said she gave up smoking, drinking and drugs as soon as she started doing yoga. The next day, I think she said. She was young: somewhere in the middle of her teens. It took her until her early thirties to begin to gain control over her behavior around food.

  3. Judith says:

    Holy smoke Jess, Graves Disease.

    Paleolithic diet recommended…I’m browsing away about the dietary restrictions and it does seem a tad overwhelming particularly since each person is different in what they are sensitive to and it’s tricky balancing.

    I wonder would an allergist be able to help you in eliminating substances attacking your thyroid? It might be a help to get you started.

    They also talk about supplements and stress reduction. Same thing as is recommended for me. It takes some persistence. Isn’t it strange how some people breeze through and other people’s bodies simply can’t take anything about our world and society?

    Still, adopting a different diet does give you some control. It’s a plan!!! It will make a difference I’m sure. I find it hard to give up cheese. Rats, eh?

    • Jessica says:

      Yeah, I’m doing this. I mean, trying. Eggs & cheese too, for a while. I described my diet to my doctor & she acknowledged my great cheese/ milk/ yoghurt consumption. Here in VT we worship the cow, you know. Holy cows. Something like India. Right? πŸ˜‰

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