For the past hour I have been racking my brain to come up with something I liked about High School.  The closest I can come is Mr. Wick and Geometry.  That said, he has been dead for about 5 years and I have not had to use my well honed Geometry skills since 11th grade.

Need I say more?

I was neither popular nor unpopular, cool or uncool, interesting or uninteresting.  On the sports front I was a second string fullback on the field hockey team, a right fielder on the softball team (and we all know that practically no one hits the ball into right field), and a good back stroker but never as good as my insanely gorgeous, statuesque and popular cousin-with-the-boyfriend in the same grade.

Need I say more?  

I was really smart but not outstanding – probably in the top 10 in my class but let’s be honest I went to Canton High School in the ‘80’s. There were less than 100 of us and even fewer who graduated. And I had no particular talent or passion.

Need I say more?

Two of the 4 years in High School I struggled tirelessly with anorexia.  Waking up and running 5 miles at 5 a.m. – getting on the scale – eating a piece of cheese or an orange – back on the scale – going to swim team- eating a piece of bread – back on the scale – doing homework, etc. Rituals and routines ruled my life.

It was a secret race against my own psyche.  And sadly – or not – as people who know this disorder, those 2 years were ones in which I was enormously depressed but conversely empowered by my ability to control my food intake, my exercise regime and thus my body size.

Once my parents figured it out, trying to find a therapist who’d heard of anorexia let alone understood it in the ‘80’s was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  But we did – his name was Ralph and he helped me save my life.

And so did my family.   As is often the case when one child gets sick, the rest of the family has to respond. So my illness caused a family crisis that changed us all – for better I would say today, but back then it didn’t feel that way.

I wish I had a better high school story.  But I can honestly say while my struggles with food and other addictions didn’t end in high school, the help and support I got then made me more self aware and able to get help when I was drowning later on.

So as is true for most people, it was my younger years that have informed and guided me throughout life and I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.

That said, if you’d asked me back then if I ever in a million years thought I could bear and raise children AND have a great job AND juggle both somewhat eloquently – I’d have laughed you out of the room.

But I did and at 50 years old I’m content and happy most of the time – and have been since about 28.

I have the most awesome daughters in the world.  I have an amazing job where I get to fight for social justice and the things that matter to me while meeting my economic needs.  I have the best friends a woman could ask for.  I have a boyfriend who loves me.  And I have finally, finally come back full circle to embrace my family of origin in all of their special, quirky, and loving ways.

Need I say more?

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