I get on the elliptical and my kidneys have me doubled over in pain. I know they are failing me and I need to go to hospital but not yet because I am not ready. I push myself on for an hour despite the fact that I haven’t eaten in two days. I leave the gym and go to yoga. I attempt to beat my demons on my mat but I cannot. I shake from fear and malnutrition. I weep silently as sweat and tears pour from my broken body. “You are enough,” Dale tells the class. His quiet, peaceful voice instructs me to “feel safe in this place. Nothing can hurt you here.” Nothing except myself that is. No one can hurt me or abuse me in quite the same way that I am capable of.
He puts his hand on my back and I am taking short, sharp breathes that shiver through me. “Breathe into this space. You have so much tension. Just let go.” He doesn’t know that I cannot let go. That I am not safe, that I am tortured, that I am not enough. I am not enough for myself and I wasn’t enough for the man I loved; the man who let me go so easily. I stand up and the darkness rushes in. I am blinded by physical pain and for one moment it blanks out the emotional pain from which I can never escape. I am light headed, I feel as though I am going to faint. I am so weak that just the shear act of standing buckles my knees. I press my hand against a wall and steady myself, stopping the fall that was coming. For a month I have starved, purged, compulsively exercised, sustained myself with bottles of wine and tears. I have barely slept because my dreams are haunted by the man I love. I dare not close my eyes for he is there, waiting for me. I cannot keep this up.
Just one month and my kidneys are giving up. I do not know how long I can delay the inevitable. At some point my body will fail me. I will faint, fall down, end up in hospital and I don’t know when it is coming. It may be at gym or yoga or in the grocery store or at the ballet studio. It may be in the shower, when walking up the stairs or as I stand up. I have tried desperately to calm my mind, to find the peace that has evaded me. I have tried so hard to let go of the man I loved, the rejection and abandonment. I have tried and I have failed. Starving fills me, eating fails me. The pursuit of peace is beyond my reach in this time and place.