Warning number one, there is a bit of triggering language towards the middle of this post. You don’t have to read this if you think it won’t help. Either way, here we go.
So, like I’ve said before (I think)…if you know me, you know I love writing, and you know that I’ve been through some stuff. I am in a good place right now, which I am thankful for every day. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t relate to the struggle. I still feel deeply for the poetry, the writing, and the true struggle that life dishes out. That is why, tonight, I have been reading some…”deeper” poetry. I still know what it feels like to be in the middle of anorexia, depression, PTSD, anxiety…etc. I know what it feels like to be at, what I thought was, my end. It’s a battle I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.
I don’t think it’s important for me to steer clear of these kind of works. I wrote a hell of a lot when I was in the middle of it. (I wrote a hell of a lot through all of it, really). That’s why I can appreciate it. I am not happy in any way that these people are here, but I can relate. And the world needs more people who are willing to relate.
So this is what I came upon tonight. And it got me thinking, which is probably good since I wanted to go to bed two hours ago (it’s only 7:16pm right now). I will say there is a trigger warning, just to be safe.
Here it is:
“I want to be thin”
Please tell me,
now that you can count your ribs
have you stopped counting your tears?
What’s most interesting for me, reading this now, is that…I could. After awhile, my behaviors were not in response to anything, anymore. I would act on my behaviors because that was what I did. That was my way of life. It was so dramatically impacting that I forgot what any other life looked like. When I saw myself losing weight, I just knew that was the goal. I felt that sense of achievement. I was doing what I was supposed to do.
There have been many triggers for my disorders, all throughout my life. I can list the major ones, though I won’t do that at this moment. But most of all, anorexia was just my way of living. That actually, logically, makes no sense, since anorexia is a way of suicide. But I truly believed that was my “mission”. I don’t know the exact moment of “beginning” to my eating disorder. Doctors, reviewing charts, said maybe 13. My mom likes to tell me it started when I was a baby. Who knows. But I focused all of my attention on the physical evidence of my body. The more bones, the better.
To those who do not have an eating disorder, that might sound messed up. And, yes, it probably is. But just like drinking when you’re stressed, or doing drugs to get through the day…that was my “fix”. Restricting sent me into oblivion. I began to fade from “real” life, only having to focus on my “mission”.
My restricting made me feel better, sometimes. It made me feel numb, usually. And that’s what I was going for. Any numbness was better than feeling. Because feeling those tears, hot against my cheeks…it became too much. I wanted my out.
I knew I wouldn’t last like that. I wondered, many times in anger, why my body hadn’t given out yet. I felt trapped, alone, and, scary as it is, I felt sure. Sure that *this* was my fate. I would die from my eating disorder.
Yet, I didn’t. Seven years of treatment, a lifetime of figuring things out…and I am here. I do not have it all figured out these days. I have figured out some things. I am constantly learning, constantly growing, and constantly feeling thankful that my body did not give out on me.
I got another chance. I got a whole bunch of “other chances”. For that, I am sincerely grateful.
And I believe that, with this gift of still being alive, I am obligated to help others. I cannot remain silent. I cannot will myself to forget those years. I need to find a way to help others, because that is my meaning in my life.
So I look at things that remind me of the past. That past is a part of me, and the more I am willing to acknowledge it, the more I can find ways to help others still in the midst of it all.
I want to remember, because I want to make a difference.
And one day, hopefully, I will figure out how. Until then, I’ll keep writing.
-October 8, 2016