I love living in NYC.
It has been a huge part of my recovery and fresh start. Yes, it is a great place to be an actor and a young twenty-something, but it has also been an amazing place to learn how to truly live again. A great place to finally embrace life after years of clinging to a comatose existence with ED.
Needless to say, it has provided me with incredible adventures. I’ve wound up going undercover as a private investigator, going on beautiful boats on the Hudson, — even getting a private concert by none other than Mr. Timberlake! It has been, in a word, wild. And just what I needed for my recovery.
As an actor, I have a lot of friends that are “in the biz” which allows for some pretty cool opportunities.
Like. Fashion Week.
If you are unaware, Fashion Week in New York is upon us, where clothing (and technology!) designers showcase their latest collections down NY’s hallowed catwalks.
The tickets to said events are next to impossible to get. You have to either be North West Kardashian, Queen Bey, or the live-in-assistant of fashion royalty, and even then – you’ll be battling tooth and nail to get a seat.
Well. I just so happen to have a friend working production at one of the shows, and he was able to score me two tickets. Second row. VIP.
I mean. Seriously, howwww in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks did that happen?!?
But I have a confession.
After much contemplation, I turned them down.
Yes, Karen, I turned down tickets to probably one of the most exclusive events I will ever have the privilege of attending.
And here’s why.
Yes, it would have been, in a word, thrilling, to go to the Fashion Week event. But to think about sitting there, fully submerged in a world where unnatural thinness is glorified and gaunt models (many of whom have eating disorders) are on parade, it did not sound like something that would have been good for me, a survivor of anorexia.
Let’s be clear here: I am strong in my recovery. It’s not that I don’t think I could “handle it.” I mean, I have to sit in the same audition waiting rooms with those type models. But you see, now, I am at a place where I do not long for that lifestyle anymore. I don’t find an emaciated body attractive anymore. Frankly, when I come across someone who is suffering from anorexia, my heart breaks for them and aches, remembering the pain from my past.
But I am also strong enough to know that submerging myself at an event, where (at least in my eyes) anorexia is literally on display, nay — applauded and glorified — would have been a situation where I would have been really tested.
So I decided to put the kibosh on that, and not even give myself the chance to get shaken up.
I was avoiding temptation.
This concept is not new.
In fact, at church, we talk about it every Sunday, however it is often overlooked, since it is in the Our Father prayer.
“Lead us not into temptation.” Matt 6:13
And this extends far beyond eating disorders, too.
Temptations come in all shapes and sizes.
Overeating. Binge drinking. Bad things on the internet. Compulsive online shopping. Lust. Rage. Anger. Gossip. Drug use. Holding a grudge.
Maybe your way of “turning down the tickets” would be taking a different route home after work so as to avoid the McDonald’s drive through. Or only paying with cash, so as not to overdraw your check book. Perhaps you need to enact a “no computer after 10pm” rule for yourself. Maybe keep the dorm room door open with your boyfriend. Or limit alcohol consumption to weekends only.
We are strong. Capable. Sound of mind and heart. We’ve been gifted those virtues. But we’ve got to realize, we’re not invincible. And we’ve got to protect our hearts and, at least for me, my recovery.
Because if I knowingly dive into shark infested waters, not only am I incredibly stupid, but I’m also going to get bit.