Life and Death

TRIGGER WARNING

Anorexia is not glamorous. It is not dressing up in fancy clothes with lots of makeup and taking pictures while looking rail thin. It is not a fashion statement. It is looking grotesquely thin, like a walking skeleton. It is not something that you can try on like an item of clothing, decide it doesn’t look good, and then take it off. 

Anorexia is not admirable. It is not something people will pat you on the back and congratulate you for. It is not something to feel accomplished about. It is listening to the demons in your head cruelly congratulate you on refraining from engaging in basic human needs and behaviors. It is not something to commended or applauded.

Anorexia is not beautiful. It is not something to aspire to. It is something to eradicate. It is something to teach our children to avoid at all costs. It is not a desire to look a certain way or fit a certain aesthetic. It is a powerful, all-consuming desire to change who you are in a drastic, dramatic, dangerous way.

Anorexia is not eating because your mind has so twisted and warped your thought process that the idea of putting food into your body is physically painful. It is not clean eating. It is not avoiding certain foods for healthy or personal reasons. It is not going out with friends because you’re too afraid that you might be asked to eat. It is spending your hours staring listlessly at a plate of food, feeling too defeated to muster the energy to pick up the fork and fight to live.

Anorexia is not freedom. It is a life in chains. It is hospital gowns, heart monitors, and meals eaten under the watchful eye of doctors. It is constant meetings with healthcare specialists trying desperately to convince you that this is a war you cannot win. It is not control. It is not something to congratulate yourself on.

Anorexia is not healthy. It is not maintaining a certain body mass index or weight by thoroughly nourishing your body. It is restrictive food choices everywhere you turn. It is a ruthless, driving force that bends you to its will and convinces you to leave your blood, sweat, and tears on the exercise mat. It is working yourself to the literal bone. It is tearing flesh, crimson rivers on your skin, and crystalline drops of water running down your face like a cascading waterfall.

Anorexia is not having the slice of pizza because it isn’t “good for you”. It is skipping getting ice cream with your family because the thought of that is simply terrifying. It is refusing to eat your food unless it is chopped up into small bits that you can chew on like a rabbit. It is fragile, breakable bones that creak and moan under the minute weight sitting on them.

Anorexia is not something that earns you a prize. It is not a competition at the end of which you receive a trophy or a medal to commemorate your nonexistent victory. It is a deathly battle which you did not sign up to fight. It is looking down at yourself and feeling the pinpricks of tears sting the corners of your eyes. It is not feeling contented with the reflection you see staring back at you. It is asking mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the ugliest one of all?

Anorexia is not enjoying your days. It is spending your days relegated to a monstrosity in your mind that is trying its hardest to commit the ultimate crime and silently yet surely poison your thoughts until you die. It is staring vacantly out the window with lifeless eyes. It is not waking up and greeting the day with a smile, but rather sleeping for hours on end because your body is beginning to shut down.

Anorexia is not happiness. It is not a sense of pride that rises up in your heart and fills your soul to the brim. It is a cold, aching emptiness that claws at your insides and tears you apart piece by piece. It is an unrelenting, burning need to be less, to be smaller, to disappear. It is irrepressible sadness. It is surrendering yourself to something that toys with the strings of fate and holds your entire life in its bony grasp.

Anorexia is not living. Anorexia is dying.

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