Recovery

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1. I bought new clothes last year. In my head I called them my fat clothes, and settled deep into the knowledge that there would always be a gap of two fingers between my waist and the band of my jeans. I felt powerful when I threw away the skirt that had never fit, but somewhere in my nooks and crannies there is a question remaining: did I just give myself permission to give up? I tried to pull on jeans yesterday, and couldn’t get the zipper closed.

2. I moved into a room full of mirrors last year. Mirrors on the closet doors, mirrors on the bathroom door, mirrors across the walls and everywhere I looked. It took me six months to snap. I set out my tools, an assortment of screwdrivers and hammers, and tried to pry the mirrors off the closet, only to find that it was mirrors all the way down. I left glass shards on my floor and trickles of blood on my fingers, but my closet doesn’t have doors anymore.

3. Some people describe their eating disorder as a voice or a worm or another version of themselves. My eating disorder is a rock. It lives at the bottom of my stomach, and on the days when I think that I’m about to slip away into the air because I’m just not solid enough to be real, it holds me down and tells me who I am. It’s extra, and so to contain it I need to empty myself out and scrape away a space inside of me that it fits. My new jeans aren’t big enough to hold all of me and the stone inside, the unbreakable certainty that tells me who and where I am. Choices must be made.

4. Bodies are adaptable, amazingly so. Bellies swell or fade, but underneath organs are churning to function on the smallest slivers of energy. These days when I miss a meal my hands go clammy and my muscles shake. Insides rebel with nausea, in a desperate bid to be heard. The rock inside me doesn’t provide a source of motion. I sit as still as possible and feel it holding me down. The pulling feeling fills me with a faux hunger, and when I find food, I fill every inch of myself, stretching and growing in a matter of seconds. I see myself expand, and the rock pins me down.

5. They told me that recovery would mean more energy. Last night I slept for 11 hours and woke up yawning. Rocks never get tired, and my body is heavier than it used to be. There are still runes scrawled across my body that tell me I should run further or swim faster, but my muscles go limp in a moment. Despite my weight, I feel empty. I remember the lightness of a truly empty self, and it hurts.

6. When I laugh, I forget that there are rocks inside me instead of insides. I laugh a lot now.