The Battle That Took Too Long

There we stood face to face

neither one daring to flinch

The mirror howling

screaming in agony

its cries growing more and more and even more intense

            Pleading for us to raise our swords the mirror threatening to shatter into a billion fragments if we failed to comply

 

And so we did

We raised those swords

We resumed that ongoing battle

that had occupied us for an eternity

the battle that drained us of everything we possessed except that one ounce of willpower that forced us not to give up

a vicious cycle of a battle

a disgusting thing

 

And so we fought it out

dancing around each other

Cynically, cowardly

With every stride I felt her analyzing me

Scrutinizing, judging

The whispering of her eyes failed to cease

Ribs are for protruding thighs for disappearing eyes for drowning into a sea of black socket

Tantalizing, taunting

The mirror cackled in agreement

the mirror cackled in hysteria

 

I couldn't let her win I wouldn't I refused

They ate to their hearts' content

I was better than that

I had control,

I'd show her

 

And so I tried

I consumed less

And as I did so,

she consumed more

of me

Eating away

one cell at a time

me vanishing at her will

 

The parties stopped

Too difficult

too miserably straining

They

along with all social gatherings

any event in the presence of food

My grandparents couldn’t bring themselves to see me

the suffering wasn't worth it

I lied to them I lied to my friends I lied to everyone

I told them I was at peace

The more they begged and pleaded with me, the more I resisted and the harder she pulled

They were in a vile position, my hands were stained

I was alone

 

But I was in control,

I thought

I was drowning in pitiful equivocation

For she was always there

haunting me

She was the one with the upper hand,

I a fool for being so oblivious

so hungry for exerting the dominance I never had

 

A power struggle

dynamic and exhausting

A tug of war

the rope tied to my heart

and she pulling with all her might

Each calorie ingested was a dagger to my soul

With each pound gained a pound of blood was shed

 

There were instances when the throb was too intense

instances that forced me to utilize my shield

But I wasn't fooling anyone

That scrap of metal wasn’t protection any more than it was a cage

separating my body from the nourishment it so desperately craved

Time and time again I demolished that shield only to have it form once more around my feeble mind

 

And that's just the thing about mind games

One moment they disappear,

the next they return to feed off of your brain

Your brain

a frighteningly, beautifully potent thing

itself responsible for its own demise

A civil war

A test of my own strength,

a test passable only by determination,

a test that introduced me to the word "insanity" and drove screwdrivers into my mind until I thought I'd had enough

But I didn't let myself give in

I refused to live the rest of my life at her service

I was obstinate

rightfully so

 

And I was victorious

eventually

A year later, she surrendered

She didn't have my perseverance

my love for my brain and body

my refusal to cede them

despite their imperfections

She didn't cry every night

wondering why she was the only one to whom this happened,

or rather why she was the only one who did this to herself.

And she didn't get up every day,

chest to the sky,

raising her voice back at the mirror,

Today I will reconquer myself

For the ones I love,

the ones who don't deserve this,

the ones I've been hurting too long

 

 

Anorexia didn't win the battle

 

 

 

I didn't let her.


 

 

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