Since I was a little girl I have had a love affair with perfume. Some of my earliest memories are of me walking into the bathroom after mum or dad had spritzed on a scent. I remember feeling incredible comfort at the train of scent they left behind. Dad's aftershaves were always dominant, masculine and herby; Mum's perfumes were feminine, gentle and sweet.
It's amazing how we can associate a scent with a particular person, how it can evoke memories and feelings, and exactly that happened to me the other morning. As I was rushing to get out the door, I randomly grabbed one of my perfumes and spritzed some on. The little dust pearls instantly woke my sense of smell, which lead to awakening my memories letting them flood into my conciousness, inviting me to reminisce.
One summers day, while I was still in hospital, Mum came to visit me and brought me a little present - a sample perfume of CHANCE by Chanel. Her reasoning for it was because she felt I needed another chance, more importantly I needed to give myself another chance. She also thought it might make me feel better about myself, that it would make me smell life again. I tentatively sprayed some on, tentatively because I have a very particular taste when it comes to perfume, tentatively because I didn't like it when I didn't have the control of choice. The moment I got my first whiff of that chance I fell in love, I knew that was the scent for me.
Sporting my new fragrance, I walked down the hospital ward headed in the direction of Dr. Prinz's office. I so vividly remember walking past the rooms of the other sick children, and it struck me that we all need a chance (or more) sometimes, another chance at starting something, another chance at love, another chance at LIFE. It was then I realized that my chance was right infront of me, that I just needed to take hold of it and run with it. The kids I shared time and space with on that ward of the Insel Spital didn't have the same chance as me. They're conditions, unlike mine, weren't self-inflicted; their chance rested, mainly, in the hope and trust of the doctors, whereas my chance rested, predominantly, in my actions. I could actively make myself better, I just needed to see it, take it and do it... and eat.
We all get given chances in life if sick or healthy, young or old, poor or rich, skinny or large... but in the end it's up to us what we do with that chance. It may sound silly, but everytime I put on chance, I am reminded of the chances I have been given and continue to be given. It feels like a new start and reminds me to appreciate life, to open my eyes and recognize the chances I have.
Anorexia is not a chance; Anorexia takes away and hides your chances. You are her chance at gaining power, don't let her do that. Never stop seeing and believing in the chances you have, the chance to get better. I am so glad I took that chance to get better and gain my life back eventhough; it still, isn't always easy. Believe in yourself, believe in the chance of life and don't believe in Anorexia.
Dear Mum, Dad, Family and Friends,
Never stop believing in the chance of hope; because where there is hope, there is a chance. I know, from the experience of my family, that anorexia can be incomprehensible, frustrating, frightening and seeming hopeless. My family never gave up on me, eventhough it may have been the easy thing to do at times. Never stop giving your daughter, son, wife or friend another chance, as sometimes it's exactly that one last chance they need.
Always remember the chances you have been given and the chance you have within your own choice. Never forget that you chose to get better and with that choice come responsibility and commitment, not only to yourself, but also to those who gave you chances and showed you trust. Keep that knowledge close to your heart, because you are one of the lucky ones who had the option of choosing between life and death.
I'm so thankful to my mum for giving me chance on that warm summers day. I'm thankful that it awoke me to the subtle, sweet, playful, comforting and dramatic scents that life brings with. I wear my chance.