The fan buzzes to my left like a powerful and entrancing dragonfly. I used to be mesmerized by dragonflies and in some ways I still am. Three summers ago I went back to treatment. I had to stay in these supportive living apartments for people with eating disorders and mood problems. On my first night, I walked into my assigned apartment to find all the lights turned off, heavy metal blaring, and two shadowy figures on the couch. No one said hello. I put my bags down and left. I didn’t feel welcome there.
The apartment was downtown Chicago, right next to Millennium Park. So I took the elevator down the 27 or 37 floors- I can’t quite remember- and bee-lined it for the outdoor stadium. It was humid and hot. Mid-August in Chicago so it is to be expected. I sat in a long sleeved shirt and pants because god forbid someone see my fat thighs and thumpy arms. They tell me to gain weight. I tell them to screw off. But none of that mattered as I sat there. Alone. Scared. Lost. Unable to comprehend how I got to this place again. I leaned back to lie down in the lawn and there I saw them. Hundreds upon hundreds of dragonflies. Buzzing, flying, dancing, mesmerizing me.
No one believed me. they said I must have imagined it. why would there be a swarm of dragonflies randomly in Millennium park which no one else witnessed. I don’t care what they say. I don’t care what they think. Whether imagined or real, the dragonflies were there. they danced for me, performing a composition I needed in that moment. A moment of fear and loneliness, a moment of questioning, and there they were. All these weird bugs keeping me company and making me feel a little less alone.
Maybe it is sad to think that bugs were my only source of company. Or maybe it is sad for someone looking into my life, my story, because they don’t understand the experiences that lead up to that moment. Being alone and able to have a moment to sit and reflect on my emotions, to witness the dragonflies, it felt like a miracle to me. Everything since starting to fight for recovery felt like a miracle to me.
It is amazing how dark times can be and how light at the same time. It’s the yin and yang, the good and the bad, the angels and the demons. I have a lot of both I have decided. My demons are simply louder beings while the angels are respectful and pleasant. They scream and scream and scream about my dirty little used up no good for nothing body. I have learned to sit and wait it out. To let them throw their fit. Scream and yell and make me feel like shit, that’s how they get pleasure.
It all comes back to the dragonflies. I see miracles every day. I look in the mirror and see a miracle. I let myself have the slice of cake and I witness a million miracle. I am blessed by hundreds of dancing dragonflies that no one else sees. I pet a shark underwater and feel as if I have just uncovered the truth about the entire order of the universe. I see angels in my bedroom as a child. I hear whispers of love when I am alone and scared. I run through forests and the trees sing to me. I look up at the sky and tears fall down my cheeks because I know. I know more than anyone else that up there something is orchestrating a shit town of miracles for us to encounter every day, but if you aren’t looking you’re going to miss them. you see, I’ve been through enough hell to notice when somethings not from the pits of fire and despair. All I have known is burning sensations and tears of Clorox. So when I feel a breeze of goodness or taste to words of kindness, I see these things, I feel these things, I understand these things on a different level. These touches of light, the new song on the radio, the text from a friend, the hug from a stranger, the parking spot in the front row- these are miracles. Some of us are just too blind to see.