It’s been a long time since I’ve written. I’ve become a corpse, a walking skeleton of the person I once was. A few months ago, I relapsed into my eating disorder, an issue that hasn’t reared it’s ugly face in years. I didn’t realize what was happening until I woke up, cold, alone and weak in my bed, begging to sleep through the day.
Once again I find myself facing recovery, a process that gets harder each time I go through it. After 15 long years of struggling with mental illness and eating disorders, I find the thought of recovery bleak, yet I fight again with courage. Maybe this time will be the last. May I will truly “recover”, whatever that word means. I hope that this time, recovery is actually recovery, not merely a “remission”. I want my life to be full.
When I was eleven years old, my family decided to move from the small town I was born in. Somehow, I felt then that I was being violently torn from the tiny bit of familiarity I had, severed from the minuscule connection I had with the mystery of my heritage and roots. I was born a puzzle, the product of two unknown beings’ sexual intercourse, planned or unplanned, I’ll never know. I assumed I was unwanted for whatever reason. My mother told me that this was an act of selflessness but to the eyes of an eleven year old who couldn’t quite comprehend the bravery of carrying a child en vitro for nine months only to surrender it to an unknown couple, it seemed more like an act of cruelty.
I was a mystery to myself.
Apparently, I cried and bawled the whole way to my new home, screaming hate slurs at my parents for taking me from my old life and forcing me into a new one. Desperate for identity in the suburban sprawl of my new home, I clung to whatever I could. On the brink of puberty, I wanted to change from the tubby young girl I was in my old city, prone to teasing and bullying. I wanted to be “cool”. I wanted people in my new school to like me.
Depression set in.
I slept most of the summer after the move. I rarely got out of bed. I didn’t eat. I was sick and alone in a city that I didn’t recognize. I was terrified of the concrete slabs separating the streets, casually planted baby trees in the middle, a nice added effect for the destruction they had previously done to nature. I hated suburbia and I hate the uppity sense of entitlement the kids in my new neighborhood gave off. I hated that they teased me for not being muscular or not playing organized sports. I hated that they called me names because of my pronounced front teeth. I hated them for not including me in games of kickball on warm summer nights. I hated them for inviting us to come over for lunch because it was “the nice thing to do”.
I retreated into myself.
I recall, in the fall of my 12th year of life, my home education teacher stopped her lesson plans on creating blueberry muffins and showed us a film about a young girl that hoarded food and kept it under her bed. She binged on cupcakes and ice cream and threw up into plastic bags. She was skeletal, fragile and weak. I didn’t get why we were watching the film but I understood that I was like the girl in the movie. I excused myself into the bathroom where I sat for the remainder of the class. When it was over, the teacher called me into her office and asked me if I needed help. I declined and walked out of her office and to my next class where I was promptly pulled by the principal.
The school counselor drilled me, my mother was called and I was forced into a psychiatrist’s office the next week.
And so I started recovery for the first time.
It’s funny that almost 14 years later, I still feel like the traumatized 12 year old I was then. I’m scared, weak and beaten. Only I’m an adult now.
Here’s to hoping this time’s the last.