I used to toe the starting line on the track before the 5000 meter race and yawn. It was my body’s way of trying to calm down. I was overrun with fear at the beginning of every college race I ran my freshman and sophomore year until I started to see a sports psychologist.

She gave me tools to turn my race fear (of failure) into power. I ran the best race of my college career at the end of my sophomore cross country season because I learned how to use it for me instead of against me. It didn’t steal my breath, it gave me breath.

And then I moved states and had new fears and well…fear has ruined many periods of my life.

I feel like I’m on the edge of letting fear consume me or letting my wise self win a race that has been a long time coming. I just need an extra push. A push where I’m held, but not in charge.

Like tandem skydiving.

You don’t get to be in control. You relinquish your control to your certified instructor and they push you out the door of the plane and make sure you land safely. They fly with you. The whole way down. They are your safety. A complete stranger you’ve trusted!

But really, you’ve trusted God.

Anorexia makes me paranoid. I know when those thoughts start to spin, I need to relinquish control because once it’s all I can hear, I am in huge trouble.

Fear is the emotion at the top of a heap of teenage emotions that wanted—no, needed—a parent to help me land safely as we navigated the labyrinth.

Anorexia makes me feel invincible. Nothing and no one can hurt me as long as I (ironically) spend all my fear emotions on food. But when I’m wrapped up in it, I can’t see that I’m afraid of food. It just seems like I’m winning a race. And all my teenage self wanted was to win the race because that meant love.

I want to be able to say fuck it and jump on my own and land safely on my own and completely abandon my eating disorder and fears.

But I’m struggling today.

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