I’m struggling with eating disorders. I have tried telling my family outright but I get too scared. I worry that I am if I admit that I am struggling with this, I’ll be less than I already am.
I am eating again, but only because my stomach started cramping.
It’s still cramping. It still hurts. Mentally and physically. Every time I eat, my mind assaults me with the things people have said to me,
“Girlfriends are skinny.”
“Without your boobs you’d look like a fat twelve year old.”
“Girls who are Girlfriend-material don’t jiggle.”
“Guys only date attractive girls.”
“Jeez, hungry much?”
“If you eat like that you’re going to end up fat.”
and then with my own thoughts: “Why do you need to eat? Look at you.” Then I’m hit with nausea.
I. Can’t. Eat.
The only time I feel… I’ve earned the to right to eat, lately, is when my hunger feels as if it is going to crawl its way up my throat; a little indescribable monster, or when I have a headache. Or when I can’t walk without feeling sick.
I avoid looking at myself; I just want to scream. I just want to scream; cut pieces of myself out and hope, hope that I will end up being good enough for someone. Good enough for me and for the mirror. I want to cut myself down to bone. I want people to know how I feel: I feel like a skeleton; I am a skeleton. I am hollow. See through. And yet…
I am not hollow. I am so filled with rage and sadness. It feels as if forest fires and icy tidal waves are at war within my chest and mind. Heart versus Thought.
I don’t think there has been a time where I haven’t been fighting something. Fear has been ever present. Everyone has told me to just say no. As if just saying no makes everything okay. If it was, I wouldn’t be writing this. I haven’t just said no, I’ve screamed it; wrote it; drawn it. When I tell people that I am scared before everything, they don’t seem to understand. They never do, and they always tell me to just remind myself it will be okay. They tell me to say no. How can this work for people? How? How can just a thought make the darkness and the things that hide within it go away? I need more than a thought because my fears are stronger and more real than just one word.
I don’t know if it is possible to make the creatures at the edge of my view go away with just no. Normally I find solace in reading but lately I have found it to be unearthing doubts and insecurities and it feels like a war between,
“I would be prettier if I was skinny.”
I would love to be that girl who is all height and brains. I would love to be able to wear loose dresses, flowy dresses, and not look pregnant. I would love to be thought of as willowy. Long legged. Sinuous.
(“For all of my claim to being smart, I am oddly fixated on something as worthless and fleeting as physical beauty.”)
And a war between this,
“I don’t need to be skinny; I’m healthy. My BMI and weight are okay for my height and age. 19.8. Remember: you are okay.” I have to remind myself that men—no, people who only find skinny people attractive are worthless; people who think being skinny makes them a more beautiful person, a better person, are idiots. Being skinny makes you nothing more than skinny.
What happened to me that made me so insecure and lacking in confidence? Why can’t I believe people when they say that I am pretty? (“Most likely because if you did, you would have a huge ego.”)
I want, so desperately, to be beautiful. I want to feel real and here. I don’t want to feel as if I am going to float away into misery. I want to be free of myself and my own head. I want to be able to look into the mirror and smile.
There. I have told you a small fraction of the reason for getting my tattoo. It will be a reminder that I am strong and I have made it through Hell and back. It will remind me that all of the horrible stuff that has happened: Is behind me. It is done. With this tattoo, I want it to be beautiful, scary because that is what I have gone through and still am, and real. I want this tattoo to symbolize, for me, that I am real and that right there on my back is beauty. There is proof that I am strong and can handle anything. There is the proof, for me, that I am finally beautiful. The image itself stands for things as well: the eyes make me feel safe, someone it watching over me—watching my back. That’s why they need to look real. The chaos star is a reminder to be me and no one else, no matter who says what. I am chaotic. The wings… Oh, the wings. If it is not obvious, the wings are my wings. They are the reminder to forget fear and fly as high as I possibly can. They are the helping hand that freed me from the chains that held me for so long. They are freedom. The Celtic knotting represents strength and the will to hold on no matter what. They remind me that I have been strong and no one can say differently.