Remember

I remember when the tiny number designating the size of a piece of clothing ruled my life

I would stare at as if it were a contest, mentally willing my body to magically contour itself so that I could struggle my way into the fabric held in my shaking hands

Desperately wishing for the number to be low like an obscenely good golfing score

Except there was never any triumph in becoming smaller, smaller, smaller; less, less, less

I was never up to par and found myself wishing I could fold myself up until I was just a little ball to be shoved in the corner of a closet and forgotten 

I remember when “nutrition facts” may as well have spelled “death sentence” in big, bold letters

As my mind robotically whirred and clunked to life, preparing to perform complex calculations designed to reveal just how destructive the tiniest morsel of food would be

Frantically pleading with my thighs to keep their distance from each other like two repelling magnets

As if somehow you could measure my worth by making them stand farther, farther, farther; away, away, away

With a tape measure that may as well have been wrapped around my neck hanging loosely and limply from my cold hands

I remember when the sight of certain foods turned me into a sobbing wreck faster than the blink of an eye

I would push away the plate as if separating us more somehow meant that it would simply disappear in a poof of smoke

Hysterically repeating that I was fat, ugly, worthless, and disgusting for so much as looking at it

And I begged those around me to let me starve, please, please, please; no, no, no

Dressed in my blue patterned hospital gown and pants that barely kept me from shivering as snowflakes stuck themselves to the windowpanes

I remember when they handed me that damning piece of paper with the words “anorexia nervosa” written in bold lettering across the top

There was no denying it any longer with a web of lies and deceit that threatened to collapse and crumble any second

Blindly insisting that there was nothing wrong with me and that I was the only sane person alive

Telling the concerned faces looking back at me that I was fine, fine, fine; liar, liar, liar

As I cradled my knees close to my chest in an effort to minimize the space I took up on this planet

I remember just yesterday scooping ice cream into a bowl and pausing with the spoon hovering inches above it

It glittered invitingly up at me in the pallid cast of light overhead 

Cruelly threatening me at the exact same time with demonic thoughts and destructive words

And forced me to listen instead to the monotone voice playing over and over in my head like a broken record, eat, eat, eat; live, live, live

With every bite I felt a little bit of my will to survive wither and die like a flower in the dead of winter

I remember every single minute, every single excruciating second my eating disorder has made me suffer through

Whether I be laying crying in an alarmed hospital bed or sitting with a smile plastered on my face at a restaurant

Calmly reassuring everyone that everything is alright and that their worries are misplaced

While feeling my cheeks start to hurt from the effort of looking happy, happy, happy; laugh, laugh, laugh

I promise that I have moved on to a bright and better future, but I also swear that I will forever remember my past.

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