Walking in the Rain

Sometimes I forget about the life I once lived. The life I was trapped in eight years ago when I was in the depths of anorexia.

But even though I write about my recovery and the freedom I’ve been given and found in my new life, I don’t really confront or think about that dark period of my life. I focus on the good.

And being in Manhattan is really a big contributing factor of that. It’s been a fresh start for me. A clean slate. A place where there are no shadows from the past following me around. It’s been instrumental to my recovery in a lot of ways.

So, really, my past and my present have never really collided. At least not in this new place I’m in. Not in New York.

Until this weekend.

When I think back to high school, which was when my anorexia developed, if I could personify my experience into a person, it would be one of the captains of our football team. We’ll call him…Frank. So anyway, Frank and I grew up together…neighbors…had been friends since elementary school. And in high school, his house was the party house.

And the perfectionism I developed as a result of my anorexia made it so I wouldn’t drink alcohol. I was dating the other captain of the football team, so I’d go to the parties, but there was no way in hell I’d drink.

Anyways…that was Frank.

And this weekend, I learned that he’s in the city.

And wants to get drinks.

Guys. The last time I saw this guy was when I was 78 pounds and getting shipped off to inpatient. Like, to say I was feeling some anxiety about seeing him again is probably the understatement of the century.

I spent the two days leading up to the get-together completely inside my own head. My past darkness and my current freedom were now colliding — BAM – on my new turf. Those 48 hours sent me back, remembering, all the pain and suffering and enslavement I had during high school to a disease that nearly took my life.

Long story the short, we had a great time. He was genuinely happy to see me and happy to see that I’m living life to the full again. I had nothing to worry about.

That’s not the point of this post.

I want to share what happened the following day.

I woke up the next morning, and I’m not going to lie, I had quite the hangover. Tequila does that. And here’s my remedy that I always do: I take a nice, brisk walk, usually somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour. The fresh air, a green juice, and the endorphin kick usually do the trick to combat the fogginess.


So I was out on my walk, it was a beautiful, blue-sky day, and right when I’m at my turnaround point –30 minutes out– a storm kicks up. And all of a sudden I’m caught in a torrential downpour. I kid you not, this thing came out of nowhere and it was like the rain was coming down sideways it was raining so hard.


And naturally, I didn’t have an umbrella. And I was wearing a knee-length down puffy coat, as one does in the winter in NYC.

So here I am, without an umbrella, without a metro card or wallet, 30 minutes away from my apartment, in the driving rain.

Oh yeah, and I’m on the river, so there was not a building to duck into, either.

So I just conceded to the fact that, welp…I was going to get wet.


And as I was walking home – I don’t know if it was the rain, or the fact that I was afraid of getting electrocuted so I wasn’t listening to any music in my headphones – but my mind found its way back to high school, thinking about all the experiences and joys and relationships I missed out on. I mean, I didn’t walk with my class at graduation because I was at inpatient, I had to drop out of all my extra curriculars, I threw away most of my friendships because I isolated myself with ED. I didn’t even respond to phone calls or call people back. I didn’t partake in any of the parties or tailgates or fun “senior year” traditions because I was so wrapped up in my eating disorder. I went from being a homecoming court, very involved, student athlete with a lot of friends, to a shell of my former existence, wasting away physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially — and to top it all off, I had lost 90% of my hair. And I’m telling you these things, not because I’m fishing for pity or anything like that. I’m just painting a picture for you of what my final two years of high school were like.


But as I was walking home in that head space, getting angrier and more verklempt, I looked up, and there was this gorgeous double rainbow in front of me. I mean, it was vibrant and clear as day. It was the strangest thing, it was pouring cats and dogs, and yet the sun was brilliantly shining and there were the two brightest rainbows I’ve ever seen.


And in that moment, I knew that those rainbows were from God.

I know. Let’s just get the collective eye rolls out of the way right now. I am aware of how cheesy that sounds. Let’s just accept it and move forward.


But we all know the story of Noah and the ark. And how after the flood, God promised Noah that He’d never destroy the earth again. And the rainbow was a sign of that promise.

Well, I saw that rainbow, and I just knew that God was showing me a sign of that promise: that I will never be in that dark place again. That I am in His arms — safe — and He’s never going to let that be a part of my story ever again. Not if I stay in His embrace.

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And I think that rainbow was also communicating something else too.

I think when we’re “caught in the rain” during difficult periods of life, we tend to focus on the rain. Focus on – Crap, I don’t have an umbrella. I’m getting drenched. This sucks. Royally. 


All I had to do was look up. Stop focusing on my wet shoes and soaking wet puffy coat and the cold, and look up. Because there, right in the middle of the darkness, was this brilliant demonstration of His love. A reminder that I’m not alone.

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That rainbow was a reminder that, “Hey, BBB. Look where you are. You survived. I never abandoned you, but saw you through. And hey, look how far you’ve come. You’re not in that dark place anymore. Focus on Me. Not on the storm.

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So maybe it was just a rainbow. A coincidence. A beautiful display of nature at its finest.

But I don’t know. It’s too coincidental that I had just come off of a weekend where I spent the majority of time thinking about that dark, stormy time in my life, and then seeing Frank, who is the personification of that time — and then the next day to have to walk home in a torrential downpour for 30 minutes, only to experience the brightest double rainbow I’ve ever seen.

It’s just a little too scripted — too providential — to not give it a second thought.

Anywho. That’s all for today. If you’re in the storm, take a breath and look up, because there may just be a double rainbow.

Gardens: stars

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

201 thoughts on “Walking in the Rain

  1. That post is beautiful.

    Hey, the double rainbow would have been in the sky whether you had been caught out in the rain or not. Sure, that’s true. However, there was a reason why you were out in the rain the day after meeting Frank and looking at the double rainbow. That’s the part where you are being spoken to.

    No, my eyes didn’t roll when you wrote that. Sometimes, it seems cheesy the ways that God speaks to you…but, speak to you he does.

    Like

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed this post. It reminded me so much of myself, and I thank you for sharing such vulnerability. You painted an epic picture with this.

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  3. What a wonderful perspective! I too, wasted a lot of time in high school, not with an ED but with a toxic relationship. Thank you for stopping by my brand new blog and for the ‘like’! I don’t know you but, I am proud of you for overcoming! I hope with some practice I can articulate my experiences as well as you do.
    Blessings.

    Like

  4. Thank you for your honesty and openness and may your message of hope resound. I once wrote a song from the viewpoint of an anorexic girl I knew. Played it at church. People were moved. Teenage girls came up afterward and asked the band to play it again. It was great, but it didn’t go anywhere after that, and the girl never knew. May your stuff be found and may girls be rescued.

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  5. This is a beautiful post! Look up & follow Me. ♡ I’m learning day by day. I needed this today. Thank you for sharing!

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      1. I’d love for you to check out my site, but the “Look Up & Follow Me” was what I heard while reading your post. I am a control freak or at least my “former” self was (trying to leave that behind!) Anyway, i struggle with the control issue and not asking for help when I need it. 😉 I’m working on “looking UP and following Jesus” ❤

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  6. Beautiful post, cracked me up with that picture from mean girls, I thoroughly enjoyed your post and am in awe of how you overcame your obstacles. It’s so great that you don’t let your past interfere with the present because it’s important to live for today and make the best out of every day because we truly don’t know if there will be a tomorrow, we only have today. Very enlightening, keep up the beautiful work. Definitely following.

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  7. Excellent! I just posted on my FB page today about PRAISING HIM in the midst of your struggles! PRAISE is the key to getting out of bondage of any kind. What a blessing this post has been. You’ve come a long way! PRAISE GOD!

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      1. Proverbs 16:33 – “The lot is cast into the lap, but it’s every decision is from the LORD.” Matthew 10:29 – “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Just thought you might enjoy those! I was inspired by your depth and honesty. You surely inspire anyone who has gone through any deep waters, which all of us have or will at one time or another. Keep us the good work, and God had you in mind when that double rainbow was put out by him!

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  8. Sounds like a cleansing experience which is what God did when He sent the rain during the days of Noah. He cleansed and said never again! Beautiful. Brought a tear to my eye because I’m constantly reminded of His love in the oddest ways.

    Thankful for your healing!

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  9. Sounds like the New York I remember. I started to get fearful about going out without an umbrella, too. The place I grew clouds would move in and hang around for days and then go away–no rain! New York City was, oh, so much different. I’d see clouds, and, well, there was just going to be rain. Nothing I could do about, and one time, in particular, I wished I had remembered my umbrella. I was an LDS missionary at the time and always on the streets, anyway, 9:30 am to 9:30 pm every day. I loved reading your post, this post that I’m on right now. I’ve visited your blog many times but never actually finished reading a whole post. I’d lose interest and go elsewhere, but just this morning this one caught me for some reason, and I really liked it! Oh, New York…Sometimes I wish I was back, but when I come back to my senses, I realize that, no, I don’t. I’m fine living in the land where I grew up. Not the same community but in a town closeby. Sometimes I’m curious why you like so many of the posts of a Nihilist like myself, Caveman Dan, but I don’t really care, I guess. Anybody can read anything. That’s why I write. I write to be expressive. I write to be heard. I write because I can. I write because I want to. I write because I do and it gives an out for my frustrations. I don’t really care why people do what they do or choose what they choose. If I did, plenty of people would have a right to judge me right back! And I don’t really want that. But, New York, hmmm…we do have something in common after all. I never thought BBB and I would have anything common, but turns out we do. You seem really religious, and I’m a Nihilist. I guess the Bible says the Lamb and the lion will lie down together, right? I got into a fight today at the church I tried to go back to, socked a guy pretty hard. It was just a reflex. I wasn’t trying to hurt him. It just happened. The New Yorker in me, I guess. I don’t really want to explain my behaviors, just live my life like everyone else. I wish that I could say something meaningful or important, but I won’t. It’s just another day in the life of Caveman Dan, another night with very little sleep. Take care. You’re always welcome to read my blog, just caution: I am a Nihilist. Probably everything I build I’ll destroy, anyway. That’s the way we Nihilists are. Sorry. If you’re looking for someone like Jesus, I know people, or particularly a person who’s a lot more like that than I am. I grew up with him. Friends since first grade. We drifted apart but always came back together. He’s solid and a true friend. I’m a paradox and contradiction. You’ve probably noticed that. You seem to have a read/liked a great many of my writings over the past weeks and month or so. I don’t want to put you off or sound rude, but uhhh…, all I really want to do is be funny. People looking for answers probably won’t find them in me. I just want to be funny, crazy, and out-of-this-world. You know, one gal asked me if (a reader) if what I wrote really happened or if I was inventing characters that I was writing and living through them. I don’t really know to respond to these criticisms. I guess I’d rather people just read what I write or not, but not ask questions. I’m a real loser. I lost my way. I was mad at God to the extreme. I really do know that God exists. I had experiences when I was child that convinced me in ways that I never will doubt. I have visions and dreams. It’s probably all just the schizophrenia I was diagnosed with from the time I was 21 (course, they called it psychosis at first). You speak of anorexia. Sometimes I wondered if I had that, but I don’t think so. I was so into athletics, when I was 12 I would measure what I thought I wanted to eat and then eat half of it. I would leave hungry over and over. I felt light on my feet and more energetic (I now know, because my stomach was not working so hard to digest and therefore, freed up energy for activity!). Course, finally, I just started going weak all over, and that was no fun. Later, some dude convinced to do a 3-day fast. That did not go over well. If not for the prayers of my wife, it might have killed me. I have been so extreme. I have been so obsessive-compulsive, and so is this friend of mine that I mention to you. We are both obsessive-compulsive (not officially, of course–just between the two of us.) I consider myself fearless. I don’t get intimidated. Even death just seems like a step in the right direction. I actually want to be scared by things like talking to people that nobody dares talk to, say things that nobody dares say, be something that nobody dares be. It’s just in my genes, just in my nature to swim in deep waters. I often dream that I am swimming oceans and surprised that I end up crossing. I dream of walls around me. Around my bed. I need to pee, but I can’t get out, because around my bed are all walls. Well, off I go. I don’t want to spoil your whole day, just a little of it, send some clouds and rainstorm your way so that a person like my friend can mean so much more when his sun and rainbows show up! I like to razz people. I love to bug. I guess some might consider that annoying, and that’s probably why I’ve ended up in jails and hospitals so many times. But I still do it, anyway. I’m not going to change my behaviors to conform to society or the police or neighbors or culture or expectations in general. I’m just going to be me, the whole entire unmasked Nihilist that I am, bring a few dark clouds and lots of rain. But plants need rain, too, and so do people! How the heck can I wash my neck if it ain’t gonna rain no more no more! Right?…Rain on!

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    1. Hi Daniel, thank you for this response. I have to be honest, I had to look up what nihilist meant. But thank you for sharing that. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned it is to respect everyone and never judge anyone, for who am I to do that. I admire your willingness to share your heart, so thank you for that:) I think you hit the nail on the head: we all have different trials in life to endure. For me, it was anorexia. That “rain” looks different for you, and Susie, and Bob and Joe. But “rain” none the less. And we’re all just trying to figure out how to get through the storm. For me, that was clinging to Jesus. Hands down. I do not think it an exaggeration to say that without His saving power in my life I would not be alive. That was the severity of my disease. That’s where I was headed. 78 pounds, my heart could barely function. But I know that that is my belief and everyone is entitled to theirs. All I know is that, no matter what you believe or don’t believe, we’re all in this together, and it is my goal to just walk hand in hand with everyone. In the rain. Because it’s a whole lot easier to get through the storm knowing that there are people by your side, encouraging you and pushing you forward. Okay long response:) haha but thanks again for taking the time to share this. Hugs and love my friend xox

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  10. Oddly enough, it’s raining this morning in Memphis as I read this post. I read it and a number of thoughts came through. Double rainbow? For you? Why not?!? I have run into too many “coincidences” in my life to discount something like this. Your friend comes from home town, gets you …tipsy? That requires you to do something about it the next morning. Do you see the chain forming?

    So I read this while it’s raining here, beating against the window of my home office. I’m thinking there’s a reason for that. I need to do more than a “like” on this one.

    And do you know what else I see in your experience? Baptism of sorts. Before you even got there, I knew he was there because he cared. Your anxiety was washed away, “baptized” out of you. The rainbows were God smiling, telling you that you just took another step away from those days. Maybe even a bit of a joke on you; standing there, bedraggled by the rain. and I think you have to laugh at His smiling rainbows.

    It just stopped raining. This second. Maybe God said I got down what He wanted. Perhaps. So go out and conquer…some more!!

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    1. Hey Jeffrey! Wow, thank you for this incredible reflection! I mean, my jaw is kinda on the floor right now. Allow me to pick it up ☺️☺️☺️ but seriously, thank you. God is amazing. You’re right I do think it was Him smiling on me. I mean, He is the maker of rainbows:) ❤️ I think He’s got quite the sense of humor. And how crazy about the rain, huh?! God definitely works in mysterious ways. And I think he’s always sending little nudges of support and smiles down to His kids. What a good Father:) any who, thanks as always for sharing your words of wisdom, Jeffrey. You’ve given me a lot to ponder this morning. Have a beautiful Tuesday! Xox

      Liked by 1 person

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