Remember in the 7th Harry Potter book when Dumbledore has left Harry the golden snitch that Harry caught in his first game of Quidditch? Harry is told that the snitch has a flesh memory, that is, it remembers the touch of the person who caught it.
Well, guess what? We have those types of memories too. Haven't you noticed how a certain smell will bring you back to a place you have been before? Have you noticed that someone brushing past you can remind you of something from years before? Have you ever walked in someplace only to have your stomach lurch with a sudden memory?
I have. Just yesterday, actually. With a few minutes to kill before the zoo would open, I took my 4 year old to Starbucks for a cake pop. I've been to this particular Starbucks only 3 times and one of those times was hitting the drive thru. As I walked in, I was grateful for my little guy holding my hand. He was holding me to reality instead of walking through a memory.
Eight months ago, I walked through these same doors. I went to the bony thin male barista and ordered my non fat vanilla latte. He said, "Don't you just get sick of ordering the non fat milk and people commenting, 'Why did you order non fat? Are you trying to lose weight? You sooooo don't need to lose any weight!' ?"
I went back to my car and crumpled in tears. I had enough presence of mind to call my hubby and tell him that I wasn't ok. I made it home no longer actively seeking to kill myself but praying amidst the tears that God would allow someone to hit me on the highway so I could just be done. The following day I was admitted to the mental hospital for suicidal ideations resulting from malnutrition caused by anorexia. It was official, anorexia and several mental conditions were now on my permanent medical record.
Anyway, yesterday I walked into the same Starbucks and felt my stomach lurch at the memory of the first time I had been there. I am glad my son held my hand. I'm glad that being with him took the sting out of that memory. I'm glad I am not driving down the highway looking for the stretch of road with no one else around, to take my life on.
And that particular flesh memory brought me hope because in that moment I glimpsed how much progress I have actually made (even though I struggle usually to see it). I've come further than I tend to give myself credit for and yesterday for a moment, holding my son's hand, I actually saw it.