Memories From When I Didn’t Eat

My stomach acid carved angry weeping holes throughout my body so I dreamt of nothing but my own internal curio cabinet of decay, stocked with countless cupboards full of corporal gristle and calcified hopelessness.

Evidence of my emptiness and fat failure on display.

Secret treasures I wanted to save and see at the same time, bragging with my new thin body while desperately hiding my drastic measures.

Scarred esophagus, scoured enamel. Blurred vision, unshakable risk of fainting.

First hunger, then pain, and lasting defeat; things that tortured me at night.

My blood seeped through this heap of morbid oddities, past my trophy case of disordered eating, as sopping shards of life leached out and I continued to die with a smile.

I was the thinnest I had ever been but instead of enjoying it I was selfishly dying.

My body, September 2015

I’ve struggled with disordered eating my entire life. For so many years my relationship with my body was incredibly toxic. It hurt me and I would hurt it.

Anorexia, bulimia, over-eating, orthorexia, these were the clinical words used to describe and diagnosis how I treated myself. But the shared root motivating these destructive behaviors and my disastrous attitude was the fact that I felt completely worthless, out of control, and unsafe.

My body made me vulnerable and I deeply resented it.

I acted on this internal pain through harmful external actions — starving, cutting, burning, vomiting, and eating until I was sick. This picture is from the first time I wore a bikini in well over a decade. I’m not 100% comfortable in my own skin but I love myself more than I ever have before. I love everything that makes me who I am — my experiences, my humor, my intelligence, my resilience, and the body that I’m finally learning to love. This is a strong body. A body whose vulnerability makes her beautiful.

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