• The highway was too loud to hear any music. Listening to songs on my i-pod is a way to keep track of how long ive been running. Today I chose Antrem park right off of highway 315. I zoned out and remembered about how six years ago I was a young volunteer camp counselor for ages four to twleve. I was only 13. about a year or two older than a lot of the kids. Naturally I befriended them, often getting into trouble from the older counselors...the paid ones. the ones in their twenties.
    I was weird. I practiced my own made up religion. so often would I wake up in the middle of the night not knowing I had a sleep disorder called "sleep paralysis" where your mind would wake up before your body. so literally I was paralysed untill my brain tells my body Im awake. It often comes with vivid lucid dreaming, which, at the age of 13 I believed I must have been "chosen". I was always searching for a way to find the border between our world and the "other" world. There was a girl I would dream often about named "Akaninea", and her friend "Caciva" and "Jenny". They seemed so real in my dreams. I thought they existed. Sometimes I would wake up while still in the dreamy paralysis state and hear voices. Not very clear ones, muffled whispers. When I came to, they'd be gone.
    It sounds crazy. maybe even unbelieveable. Sometimes to this day I have a hard time believeing it happened. The tihng is though, sometimes it still does.
    So there I was. 13 years old, leading a pack of ten and eleven year olds though the woods. I would stop and disaddociate almost, vividly day dreaming about Akainea running through the woods. I believed in the "spirit world" I was her. I thought she was my soul. I believed everyone had a special element- "wind, earth, fire and water". And the only way you could tell your element is by your personality. I was wind. Unpredictable and tempermental for no apparent reason. I would sit in a circle of campers and read them their elements. I believed this as a fact. It was a way of escaping from bad situations. I was bullied a lot at school for being so weird. drawing "dragon and wolf people" that had elaborate background stories for each of them.
    As I ran today, I invisioned again. Akaninea. It took me back to the mystical days where I didnt know any different. The days I believed dragons still had to have existed somewhere.

    I kept running, half way done with the daily 3-4 miles. I looked down at my shadow moving over awkawrd bumps in the road. I still find it entertaining she copied what ever I do. I moved my hand and waved. Sometimes wondering "Does it copy me or do I copy it?" or "what would happen if it took on a life of its own?". I am glad it never does. Life would be extra lonely if you didnt even have a shadow to talk to. sometimes Iw ish it had a feeling. maybe I could take its hand the days I stuggled most. Of couse, again years ago. I developed yet another imaginary friend. a human figure with no face, eyes or gender. "shadow person". I was affraid (and still is) of men, and disconected with my mother. So shadow person was not allowed to have a gender. I grew suicidal by the age of 13 for no aparent reason, and would often sit in the corner invisioning shadow person holding me with it.

    Funny thing is, all these fantasies never really left as I grew older. The only difference is, I knew none of them were real. As I developed bulimia around the age of 14 or 15, I never had a reason as to "why" I did it. All I knew was, what ever god there was out there was disapointed. There was a guy feeling me up everyday at school. So when I walked down the halls to class, I tuned in and dropped out. I went to my "place", The place where vines busted through walls and flowers grew from under the desks. Where I couldnt really tell what was going on aorund me. He couldnt touch me there. no one could.
    High school was filled with impulse. I dropped acid once and literally my little fantasy world came to life right in front of me. It would have been my favourite thing except it messed up my eye sight. I never had a good reaction to drugs afterwards. Pot made me paranoid, alcohol brought out the bulimic monster in me and uppers made me crazy. If I took meds, I got all the bad side affects plus some. So there I was. a raging bulimic. my only drug.
    Out of it all only the drinking continued. It made me sing, dance...vomit (lose weight) and eventually have my virginity stolen. yes stolen. a theif in the night took it from me as I lay motionless on the couch. I was scared. I thought I was dreaming. I was too wasted to push him off. I became another statistic. I never imagined something so grotesque would happen to me. But it did. eventually I would purge more and drink more to simply say "oh well."
    "so thats what men want me for?" Aparently. I was a piece of a**.
    As I got into college I was as odd as I was six years ago, only a bit more sociable. I was a fire dancer. Raver. Christain. I was out every night. I would be the one washing her hair with shampoo in the rain. Or one of twenty going to the mall wearing costumes. I was always out adventuring the city with friends, letting chinese sky lanterns go into the night. I would whisper a message to the lantern as it floated off, wondering if it would be carried to heaven. I took a class in the fall that ripped me apart, but I was determined to do well. I would get mochas from starbucks and my professor would let me bring it into the lab (against the rules but her and I ended up friends later on). I was losing weight. she noticed. I denied it. I denied I had an eating disorder to every one untill a few months later when it became to aparent. I plead "no contest". Then a few months later..."guilty". help me. I went from raging bulimic, to sad, cold anorexic. Only to be put in a rehab later and discover I was amazing at crocheting. Better off than vomiting in bags, hoarding food being so malnourished I started having delusional belifes and accusations towrds my family about tainting my food with fat. what ever. Its all over now. Besides sometimes excessive calorie counting and obsessing. someday it will go away, I know it will. As I type this I think about all that was gained and watsed. It balances out. I know im gifed in my creativity. Blessed to have the friends I have. My time in an institution taught me to value my freedom. all the years spent living in my head. the lucid dreams. sometimes so vivid I try to think Im awake. But I can fly. the will power to stop purging, drinking and starving. I quit smoking. To be high on life and God. It worth it. thanks for reading.