Fighting with a Fork

when I was younger I did not want to be a princess like most other little girls do

instead I dreamt of being a warrior, charging fearlessly into battle with a sword and a shield in my hands

and bravery written plainly on my face

I would conquer all my enemies, vanquishing any creature foolish enough to cross my path

now that I am older I have other dreams; more realistic hopes and fantasies

but there is still a part of me who reaches for that little girl

who desperately hopes for her indomitable courage 

because now I am waging a war that I did not sign up to fight

instead of a sword or a shield in my grip, I now shakily clench a fork in my fist

eyeing my food with a fear that sinks deep into my bones and sends my heart racing

instead of being proud of my battle scars, I am ashamed of the marks left behind on my skin

that serve as permanent reminders of how close I came to losing the fight for my life

instead of creating scenes and scenarios in my mind and acting them out in the glow of the sunset of a late summer evening, I now face a terrifying reality with a fear that causes me to quiver

every time I take a deep breath and plunge my fork into the plate in front of me I hear the whisper of my anorexia in my ear

chanting mercilessly and cruelly, more frightening than any monster that ever inhabited my mind

instead of running valiantly into the fray in front of me, I now stand up nervously onto a scale

which glowers at me as I turn my back to it in a foolish attempt to keep the number it reveals from plaguing my mind

instead of the cheers and adulation I imagined receiving, I hear my demons rattling their bones inside my mind

reminding me of all the life I have not lived while caught in their deadly grasp

instead of heroically facing my opponents all by myself I now find myself clinging desperately to a complex web of supports

oftentimes relying wholly on them for the elusive daring to engage my anorexia in combat

I am a soldier clad in loose-fitting clothes instead of chainmail

there are often tears rolling down my cheeks instead of sweat pouring from my brow

as I cradle my knees close to my chest and try to rock myself to sleep

my dreams are of inspiring others with my words and experiencing all that life has in store for me

and I long for the moments where my childlike imagination is strong enough to make these images appear real

I hope to one day defeat the fire-breathing dragon that is my anorexia

to find the weak point under its scaly armor

and slay the beast that slithers through my thoughts with claws and teeth that tear holes in my defenses

I believe that someday I will be the warrior I envisioned as a little girl

armed not with a sword or shield, but with a simple utensil in my hand

and a resolute mind that longs to be free and victorious.”

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