The Hundred-Foot Journey – She

“When you are in the middle of a story it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to your-self or to someone else.” —  Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace

“She” doesn’t have a name, an age , a specific  appearance. Maybe the protagonist to is one of the many “Shes” that finally stopped being in the middle of the story, trying to climb her way out of a hole which She doesn’t even know how She fell in, in the first place!

She’s the hero who tried to battle a war by herself, too ashamed to ask for help because that would mean that She had failed not only herself but manly the ones She loves!

“She” is everyone who has ever initiated the one hundred foot journey of recovery by finally being brave enough to ask for help.
She used to be terribly sick. She was always struggling with accepting herself, She had also lost all sort of interest in life, nothing felt right.

She had always underestimated the ampler of being numb until the very first day where She looked into her parent’s eyes and felt nothing else but pure anger and indifference. It only got worst when that feeling became relevant to everything and everyone around her: isolation.

I think it’s part of the human survival skills to deny the existence of mental issues as there are so scary and difficult to heal.
The first thing She thought when She accepted the fact that She was indeed mentally ill was, “well, I can’t just show up at the doctor’s and ask for a prescription or some vaccine”. She felt doomed.

Despite living in a society where medication and medical assistance is very easy to reach, She only realized how powerless She was when She stated that what She has always known as her “life saver” could not save her at all!

She can still hear today the doctor’s voice as She walked out of his office, after confess-ing her mental disorder: “good luck” he told her, as if luck was going to determine whether or not She would make it.

Sitting  long hours in front of a therapist to talk about life and death and everything in between results in her feeling even worse about her own issues. So She stopped attending the sessions and started talking to herself, instead of paying someone to listen, and tried to make peace with her own demons.

Because, really, the problem started with her and it only sounded right to fix something that She, herself, had managed to break.

Her father always warned her about the fragility of trust, and how difficult it is to regain it. She underestimated that as well until the day where She stopped eating and her body started eating itself.

She had betrayed it.

She doesn’t know when and why She suddenly felt more alive.

She just did and She’s thankful every single day for it.

She’s not here to say that recovery is easy because the truth is that recovery is the hard-est thing She has ever had to deal with, but every single day is worth it.

The day She understood that her appearance doesn’t define her was the day She became free.

“She” may not be a story yet, but She is trying her very best to make it ! She’s a fighter! And despite all the difficulties I know, She’s going to be successful because by choosing recovery, She chose Sunday mornings around a warm breakfast with her friends. She chose Christmas gatherings and vanilla ice cream on the beach with the one She loves. She chose laughter, road-trips, concerts and memories.

By choosing recovery, She chose life. And this was the best decision of her entire life.

Elisa F., 12º I, 2014

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