It's often said that when life gives you lemons, you've got to make lemonade. I consider this a grade 'A' cliché because it somehow manages to fit into most real-life scenarios. The basic idea of this saying is that you're supposed to make the best out of what you're given, even if it seems highly unlikely. It's one of those "try, try again" mantras that I dig. I guess you could say that I'm a fan of pushing and pushing and sipping on lemonade until I'm staring at more lemons than I can handle. I like getting to the point of staring at these lemons with big doe eyes until I honestly have no clue what to do with them. Let them build up. And then, I let myself get so deep in a sea of these lemons and I drown.
This is only hypothetical, of course. There are more euphemisms for this. Hitting rock bottom is the one that most often comes to mind.
I hit rock bottom once.
It was a steady decline. It began with the chemicals in my brain shifting around a bit too much and ended with a loud, abrupt snap. Talk about your major drama. Talk about an overload of lemons.
I can blame the mirror for this one. It started with a hollow feeling tugging in my brain, this sort of, "wow, I wish I was more put together," kind of thought. Me, I've always been a sloppy sort of person. An imperfectionist, as I like to say. But for some reason, every time I looked into the mirror and saw my reflection, the chemicals in my brains started to wreak havoc and made me want to be perfect.
No one in the world is perfect. But me, I tried my hardest to reach it. I tried to be as inhuman as I could manage. I didn't sleep. I got perfect grades. I respected my elders. I was kind to everyone. I was quiet. I didn't eat. Mania had taken ahold of my life with a vice grip and I couldn't wriggle myself out. Bright-eyed and bushy tailed, I was trapped in the cycle. Crying behind smiling eyes. Life was throwing so many curveball lemons and I couldn't catch a single one. I was drowning in an endless sea of metaphorical lemons.
It's funny, thinking about it like that now. Back then I wouldn't have even dreamed of touching a lemon. Just the mere thought of food was enough to make me sick and blergh, there went my guts spilling out for everyone to see.
Medically, they call the disorder I had "Anorexia Nervosa". That's doctor-speak for thinking you're not good enough so you starve the hell out of yourself in order to feel perfect. In all honesty, in's a bunch of psychological mumbo-jumbo and confused chemicals broken and busted in the brain. That means a whole lot of metaphorical lemons busting down your door, trying to get in and make you cry your sorry ass to sleep because perfection is just out of your reach.
Me living with this disorder, me being the size of a skeleton, me looking like a paper doll that one gust of wind could knock to pieces, me and all these lemons, hanging around in my messed up cranium- it got to the point where I cracked and broke. No my bones, no. Not my body, no. All the chemicals in my brain revolted when sanity tried to take a hold and the next thing I knew, I was locked in a white room with an IV poked into my veins.
You could call what happened to me "reaching my lemon capacity".
When you spend a week in a white-on-white dungeon, practically chained to a line of medical equipment, you start to wake up. Your eyes really open. The chemical activity in your brain slows down. Epiphanies hit you like a ton of bricks. Emotions stop swirling and every voice screaming for you to be perfect become still and silent.
Nurses bustled around my bed side, making sure I took all of my meals and telling me how brave I was. Doctors swooped in and out of my room and told me how lucky I was that I can as soon as I did. I didn't have any internal organ damage. A few mental scars, yeah, but that was to be expected. I was going to be fine, but did I need to talk to anyone? Would therapy help?
I sat back on my hospital bed, drinking some coincidental lemonade and wondering, did I need a therapist? And thinking hard-imagining all those chemicals swirling in my brain, the small voice telling me to be perfect, the sea of lemons I could've drowned in-thinking of all that I said yeah. I could use some help making lemonade.
I won't lie and say that therapy sky-rocketed me to normal. No, I'm still climbing way there, one inch at a time. But ever since I woke up within white walls and wearing white sheets, making direct eye contact with my very redemption, I can honestly say I've feel better. It's like my head is finally clear of that nagging voice pushing me to purge myself raw. And I can be healthy this way. I can deal with my lemons and that's all I ever wanted out of life.
Now I can sit back and relax. I've got enough lemonade to last me 'til kingdom come.