Remaking Memories

Here’s the thing: I love brown Tootsie Roll Pops. I mean, I love them. I once counted how many licks it took to get to the center of one. So, suffice it to say I’m a pretty big fan. Despite my love of this childhood treat, I haven’t had one in a year. The last Tootsie Roll Pop I had was last summer, when I was working at camp and incredibly sick. My Tootsie Roll Pop was my treat for the day. It was my way of convincing myself I didn’t really have a problem, because I was eating candy. And when I moved into the phase of recovery where I was starving all. of. the. time. I couldn’t imagine wasting some of my preciously counted calories on something so small and unfulfilling. So, it’s been a while since these delicious old friends and I were together.

Today, I had a Tootsie Roll Pop. A brown one. My favorite. Alli and I went out to dinner and afterward she said she was craving candy. So we walked to the candy store and spent a total of 48 cents on candy, a Tootsie Roll Pop for me and a Dum Dum (the Tootsie Roll Pop’s smaller, less delicious cousin) for her. We walked down Main Street, eating our candy and enjoying each other’s company. It was beautifully and wonderfully mundane.

I tell this story because this would not have been possible not so long ago. I tell it because it is in these ordinary moments that I am so grateful for how far I have come. I tell it because it reminds me that walking down the street, eating candy with a friend, and thinking about things other than calories are all gifts. They are gifts that I did not imagine ever experiencing again in the depths of my disorder. In cherishing this fleeting moment, I am remaking my most recent Tootsie Roll Pop memory. I am pushing out the memory of me at my sickest and replacing it with a memory of love, laughter, and candy. And I am thankful for each and every new, life-giving memory that recovery has made possible.

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