Facebook sent me a delicate lil reminder tonight:
3 years ago on January 6th I was sitting in a UK airport and I weighed under 100lbs when the above picture was taken. (Won’t be specific because that is of ZERO help to anyone)
Starving in that chair, I was drinking a coffee and about 5 minutes later I remember walking into a convenient airport store and strolling back and forth down the aisle of food until I decided on a bruised apple.
“How can you remember what food you ate?” my partner asked me tonight when I told them this story.
“I just do,” I said. “My life for so long was about food. I wrote it down, counted it. I just look at pictures and I immediately can recall what I ate.”
“That’s crazy,” they said.
“Yeah,” I laughed. “It’s part of it I guess.”
Later that night, once I’d flown from the UK to Alicante, Spain- I can vividly remember finding a “supermercado” in the city, and pacing up and down trying to decide what I’d eat that night in a country I’d once lived in but could never *quite* master the dietary facts.
Sitting in a hotel room overlooking the beach, I binge ate an entire box of crackers and a block of cheese (despite being “vegan”) and threw up later in a bathroom when my partner (at the time) walked out of the room.
I cried later in this persons arms; sobbed.
I knew I was sick; they knew I was sick.
And I felt utterly helpless that night- because some part of me understood then that I was in a place that I could no longer climb out of alone.
I’ll never forget that feeling- because it was pure pain. Pure, absolute loss.
When you feel like you have no control over yourself, there are zero words to describe that vulnerability, that complete removal of self.
It is a wrenching sorrow I don’t know how to describe- and likely never will.
It is a sadness that makes you feel like you do not know yourself or what your purpose is in this little world, when you can no longer take care of yourself.
I saw that picture tonight and couldn’t help but be so oddly torn between the reminder of that pain- and yet also the portion of my brain that will always be tied to ED; the part of it that says “you miss me. You miss that pride. You miss what I gave to you.”
It’s true that I do see this picture and others from that time- and I hardly recognize that girl anymore.
It seems like a lifetime ago- but yet ED always is close in the memory waves of your brain; to remind you that it will gladly come kidnap you if you enter an alleyway you can’t find you way out of.
Tonight though; as I flip through my Netflix, wash my face, come home from a dinner with Kristina (my best friend), I am just thankful to be away from ED today. I’m thankful that I went to dinner 2 hours ago with my best friend and just ate. I don’t know how many bites, how many calories, how many grams of carbs-
But I do know what we talked about. And what we shared as friends.
I do know and will remember walking on 8th and 37th street tonight in the freezing cold, grinning because she and I left laughing over something that only the two of us could share.
Smiles are smiles- and sometimes they conceal a whole ‘notha life- but I for one am just bloody happy to be away from that girl with that smile in the picture above.
So thanks Facebook, sometime you’re a blessing- and sometimes you’re a curse.