With my back to the Earth, I look up at the Autumn sky, desperate to keep the tears inside. I hold my breath hoping that the world might stop spinning, if only for a moment, and begin to make sense. Wrapping myself in a hug to keep the pieces together I think “how the fuck can I hold myself when these hands can’t even hold air anymore?” I desperately recite my affirmations over and over and over: “I am strong. I am beautiful. I am beyond this physical existence. I am healthy. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am worth fighting for. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am lovable. I am healthy. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am… I am… I am…”
Fuck. Nothing’s working.
I am nothing. I am nothing but skin that no longer drips off bones like cheap clothes drooping from wire coat hangers. I am no longer skeletal. I am a fleshy body that doesn’t fit into clothes anymore. I am a person who wants to be invisible because that would mean I am small. I am a liar. On a daily basis I falsify my self-image: “I am strong – I am beautiful.” What in the hell was I thinking when I promised myself I’d repeat that every morning before leaving the comforts of my blankets to face the day? It is so god damn painful to get dressed in the morning. It takes so much effort to promise my body that I will eat.
I am stuck.
No one ever told me that recovery from an eating disorder would be so damn ruthless. I miss the days when I weighed 100 pounds. Fuck; I even miss the days when I weighed a 115. For the sake of honesty, I feel the best I have in a decade and I weigh the most too. Physically I feel strong and powerful in a way I never even knew was within my existence. People tell me I look healthy. I hear: “Oh, it looks like you’ve gained weight.” And for the sake of truth, I feel the worst I have in a decade and I weigh the most too. Emotionally the thought of food constantly intertwines itself with every thought. In every minute. Into every relationship I have. People tell me I look healthier. I think: “Fuck. I know I’ve gained weight and every fiber in my body wants to stop eating again.”
It takes constant intention to just show up and be present every day. Most days I feel like I am hiding behind a smile while dragging myself across a charred war field to the front battle line. I promised myself I’d keep trying. I promised the people I cherish in life that I’d get better.
I want to give up.
I am trying to allow my body to exist in the world as it wishes, attempting to give up expectations of how it should or shouldn’t look. Learning to listen to what my body wants has been a trial by atomic bomb. I don’t feel hunger any more. Unless I know what time it is or my blood sugar crashes, I don’t know how or when to feed myself. I am a vegetarian. The food I place in my mouth is pretty clean, nutritious, and balanced. I feel like anyone on my diet and with my activity level would have a lean and thin physique. Instead, I keep gaining weight. I keep not fitting.
I feel betrayed. Mutinied by my own body. I don’t feel safe anymore.
I don’t know where to go from here. I can’t go back to being fiercely sick, but I am also struggling to live in this less than desirable body. The reality of betrayal sits like a heavy rock in my stomach and I don’t know how to digest it. For now I am done lying. I am not strong. I am not beautiful. I poke at the fleshy weight that is now me. Where did all the bones go? I don’t want to weigh this much anymore. Today, I just want to give up. So I sink to the Earth and surrender my existence to the Autumn sky. I hold my breath and spin with the world as Mother Nature wraps me in her clouds and cries with me.
© /skin/ /ˈpōətrē/