The words dripped in chocolate ribbon on the plate
Carbs Sugar Calories Calories Calories
A siren’s song
You’ll feel pleasure when you take a bite
Your troubles will feel further away
Do you remember when you were little and you came home to a plateful of dad’s cookies? Dad’s bread? Mom’s curry? And through the tears eating something hot and just freshly made just for you because someone loved you? And you could physically feel it, that warmth and caring, like a warm cocoon around you that suddenly made everything okay again because you were loved and safe and someone cared enough to provide for you. To give you something you needed desperately, to feel whole?
Don’t you want to feel that way again?
The food the love don’t you want to have it all?
You’ve been so sad and lonely
Maybe you can try to eat something that makes you feel happy for a few minutes
I can’t have it
It will make me fat
That horrible thing I don’t want to be
I have to feed my body so that it is healthy and strong and can build muscle
So that it can run 10 miles a day and go to school and have relationships and support me
I have to feed it to take care of my depression, my PTSD, my insomnia, my failing period
I have to feed my body for survival
No I don’t want the cake
I want the cake but I don’t I really really don’t
If I eat that cake then I’ve failed
In this constant battle of thinness, of strength
Being thin means I am disciplined and in control of my passions, that I have a strong, firm hand on what matters most in life and that I will have a long full life free of heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses, maybe even cancer
Instead of white bread wheat lavash
Instead of chicken plant protein sources
Instead of cake an organic natural ingredient dark cacao sugarless tart
Instead of a whole plate a smaller plate a half plate
Refusing sugar and instead eating only nature’s sugar
Mangos coconuts passionfruit strawberries blackberries
And if in a dessert only in a dessert with minimal sugar
More naturally processed healthy fats
More fibrous grains
No brown rice
I go to the store and all the voices scream at me that I must check that calorie label
And I feel the aching of that bone that was cracked and now is repaired
And I remember my period is coming
And all I can think is how lean can I eat and still stay alive
No I don’t want the cake
I don’t want the reminder of the happiness and love it used to bring me
Now food is a reminder that I just have to stay alive
When it hurts like hell
I put this food in my mouth and it’s like sisyphus taking another step up the hill
I will undoubtedly fall again
And I have to work out. I can’t not work out. Working out is what I enjoy.
Because if I don’t work out I am bad. I will get fat. I am not treating my body to what she needs.
And then performance.
I have to give it my all every training every workout or I am being weak I have to push the limits as far as they will go because I… am never enough.
Anorexia is one of the ways I try to disappear. To numb. To distance.
These needs that rage and tear me apart inside
That silent screaming of pain and anger and fear that lets loose a howl like a banshee but only within my body
The PTSD that broke my mind to be stuck between past and present and blocks my emotions. The depression that takes away my motivation to live, to try. And the loneliness. The loneliness that makes me want to scream my lungs out SOMEONE PLEASE JUST LOVE ME GIVE ME A REASON TO STAY
But at 4 in the morning there is no reason to stay. There is no calming, soothing voice to glide over me like the whispers of a gentle touch. There is no hand on mine saying “You can do this Hannah just pull through”. There are no arms wrapped tight around me holding me close so that I am finally safe from this demon- myself. This part of myself that wants me dead. This illness that is trying so hard to kill me and has taken my reasons for life away one by one.
This witch that stabs me in the middle of the night so I wake up crying because I was just raped by my stepgrandfather again. And I wake up alone.
And I realize in that moment that I truly have noone.
Because in that moment I want to ask for someone to touch my hand or my shoulder, or give me a tight all-around linebacker hug.
And I’m alone in the darkness.
And I have to cry myself back to sleep hour after hour night after night
This, is what madness is
To live a living death of all you love, all you care for, to be so broken that you cannot see any joy in the world
You fixate on absolute obsession because true love won’t work true love has never worked all that you once loved is lost
And hell if you’re going to stand for it
Why not slice your arms to ribbons?
Why not carve your body away through starvation?
It’s not like you’re saving yourself for some picturesque storybook wedding.
It’s not like anyone can truly reach you through this
In waters that noone can see but are certainly choking you to death even as you fight to rise
And sometimes in that struggle
You stop struggling
And drift, helpless, in the black water.
I go to the grocery store
And I look at those cakes
Their empty sugary promises of feeling love again
And I say
And walk out.