The first time, I chose to love, as if I could create it. Everyone who looked thought it seemed right. It turned wrong slowly, as I was unwilling to admit I couldn’t fix it.
The second time, I chose to love, as if it would arise from the practice of being loving. Nearly everyone who looked thought it seemed right. It turned wrong quickly, as she refused to be loved or lovely.
The last time, I gave up on choosing, and Love chose me. Nearly everyone who looked thought it seemed wrong at first. All that has happened since is Love fixing us, and Love making us loved and lovely.
If the last time hadn’t come up, I would never have had the perspective to know what had happened the first two times. I would never have been able to see how two wrongs had left me right. Don’t let anyone tell you they can’t.
***tw: ED. Please do not read if you are vulnerable to ED triggers. ***
I didn’t know that the negative space between my thighs when my heels touched was a standard with a name until I was told.
I didn’t know that collarbones were supposed to be beautiful. I didn’t know that the hipbones that were holding up my jeans like the ends of a wire hanger were to be Gods that I bowed down to in the bathroom when no one was home. That I was supposed to be able to count every rib or that my stomach was expected to be concave. Until I was told.
But here is what nobody told me until after they guided a tube down my throat and counted my calories for me:
I. You won’t remember anything. You won’t remember what you loved to do, and you won’t remember how to do it. Your brain is dying. Your organs are dying. Your liver is scarring. Your hair will fall out and curl around the edges of the shower drain and you won’t have the energy to pick up everything that you are losing. Your face will become blue and white and empty. It is not beautiful.
II. You will refuse help. And as a result, you will be issued court-ordered treatment and will toe the line of death while you wait to be admitted. You did not choose to go so eventually, that choice was taken. You will not be at your lowest weight. It’s your blood levels that send you.
III. In treatment, the pain will be excruciating. Every forced meal will feel like a war you don’t want to win. The Ensure will make you so nauseous but don’t you dare be sick on it unless you want to swallow more. The chocolate flavour is more tolerable. They will watch you pee and shower and all your privacy will be ripped from you.
IV. You will gain weight, but not in the beginning. It takes months before your body is done burning up everything you force into it. It is trying to repair itself. You will feel like you are running a race, putting all your energy into reaching recovery and you will feel like you are losing.
V. You will begin to heal when you realise that becoming healthy is not a goal, it is a process. You will burst from your old clothes as though they were cocoons and you will sob as you donate them in trash bags.
VI. You will sob in Aeropostale. You will sob over French fries. You will have nightmares that you are pregnant though your reproductive organs have also shut down. You will pray for a period and when it returns you will celebrate like it is your birthday. You will thank god every time you have to buy tampons from that day on.
- The media never told me the cost of my bones. My anorexia never told me what it was stealing from my mind.
Recovery was a hell that opened my eyes. Every day is a struggle. And still every day I thank god for every fucking court-mandated morsel of food that gave me back my life. When I sing, when I paint, when I write - I thank God that I am still alive.