TRIGGER WARNING: EDs and Suicide.
The numbers tumble at first, falling rapidly, swirling past my stout calves, up along my tree-trunk thighs and settling on my broad, starving, ever-expanding stomach. The thrill of the numbers shrinking is a high no drugs could ever reproduce in me. I laugh from my double chins, my rolls shaking, heaving. I have done this before; I can do it again. I will do it a million times over if I must. The first few days are heady with delight and obsession like a new lover but an old love affair remembered. I am beside myself with starvation, with renewed determination to see the scale swing down to where my self-worth was last seen waiting for me. Perhaps my sanity will be there too?
After a few days they stop, stalling. A stalemate. We stare at each other; this is hostile territory. A new lover becomes an old enemy. Swords drawn at dawn after a night of purging, I step on the scale to weigh my loathing and self-hatred. The needle swings past numbers that I long for, that I dream of, that I want more than this life itself. They speed past – up, up, upwards to places, figures, sums that I know will eventually kill me with their truth. I would get on my knees and pray if it would help my quest for thin. Plateaus of pain, of discontent, of frustration and the foreshadowing of what will come. There will never be a consolation prize for fat.
“Emotionally dysfunctional family patterns also play a role in manifesting the symptoms of eating disorders: families who do not share their feelings or resolve their conflicts in healthy ways; perfectionist families who stress appearance and status; food-focused families who use food for reward or punishment, or who obsessively count calories and fat. All have the potential for creating negative feelings that can predispose their members to unhealthy eating patterns.”
When I was young my mother bought me a stuffed hippo in a red tutu and ballet shoes. She said it reminded her of me.
It sat on my shelf through three years of ballet school haunting me.
I am not…