Fairy Tales

Once upon a time there was a little girl with curly blonde hair blowing sideways in the wind as she stood on the shoreline

She was clad not in a dress but in a bright rainbow bathing suit, waiting not for her prince but for the ground to swallow her up and make her disappear

There was no chivalrous hero around to take her by the hand and remind her that she was beautiful

Instead there was only a cold, menacing voice that repeated a single phrase until it coursed through her veins like ice against the warmth of the sun

For this is not a fairy tale with a happy ending

There is no dramatic riding off into the sunset as the credits roll and the final page is turned

Anorexia is like the cruel, villainous stepmother who bends the protagonist to her every whim

Or the evil witch who locks her high up in a tall, impenetrable tower

Closed off from the rest of the world and doomed to believe that she was different from everyone else 

It was only a matter of time until the demons in her mind convinced her that the reason she was kept far, far away was because the voice in her head was right

Once upon a time there was a young woman with the same curly blonde hair, this time standing still in the humid air of a warm summer day, observing herself in a mirror

And instead of who was the fairest, she asked, mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the ugliest one of all

As she examined herself from all sides with a calculating glare like someone might inspect a particularly decrepit looking piece of fruit

It had been ten years since she first experienced that sadistically pleasing rush of reminding herself that she was hideous

And that, far from being rescued from her miserable imprisonment, she was forever meant to suffer the battle alone with no sword nor shield to wage her war

And oftentimes no will to fight it either

Anorexia is eight simple and disparate letters that when combined hold all the power in the world

It is the dark splotch of ink spilled across an otherwise perfectly blank piece of paper, marring it forever; it is a black stain on your soul

It is the missed note in the middle of a complex piece that sounds like a gaping hole torn through the music

The tear in an otherwise beautiful and majestic tapestry that renders it irreparable and damaged

And the missing puzzle piece that prevents it from ever being completed and the image from being realized

Once upon a time I hope there will be a grown woman with long, wavy blond tresses reminiscent of Rapunzel’s with her head held regally high

Dressed in whatever she desires, as she looks beautiful no matter what she wears because she radiates confidence

Waiting not for a prince to come rescue her; not some gallant gentleman to come sweep her off some feet, but for her younger self to realize just how blind she was to the truth

Just how under a crafty, dark spell she was; magicked into believing all the lies spun around her like a spider’s web

And looking bravely off into the sunset with a rising hope in her chest for the future that tomorrow will bring.”

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