The Year of Skinny

A year ago today

The end of October

A happy girl stood on a scale and saw the number had dropped

Joy filled her!

Soon she had to buy all new jeans because all of hers were to big

Size 8! Isn't that great!

November

Then she finally got a boyfriend 

Life seemed to be perfect

Now looking back I see that was the calm before the storm

the beginning of my destruction

If dropping a few pounds seemed good, dropping a few more would be great

December

But it turns out as the weight goes away, so does the happiness

As I became more depressed I ate less and less

I thought that my broken pieces made me beautiful; special; worthy

They were the only things that I felt would get me noticed

The tragic seemed synonymous with concern and love

As the hatred for myself grew

I found a monster disguised as a friend

Depression-Anorexia-Anxiety

The more disgusted I became with myself the meaner I became

I cut my skin to watch it bleed

Thought that it would get me what I need

January 

I sought after attention 

broke myself for others

and ended up alone

I lost my boyfriend

so I lost more weight

I felt worthless so I treated myself as if I was

I wanted to be what others wanted me to be, 

but it turned out no one really cared

I tried using suffering as a coping skill

February

No girl scout cookies for me

I took pride in my illness- mistaking the emptiness it provided me with for strength

the happiness fell away with the weight

Finding support and connection in quotes about depression

Eating an apple and a cup of cheerios for supper

Less and less and less

Even though my starving brain could hardly think

I knew the calories in every single thing I would eat

My mind became obsessed with the calculations

the image of myself

I would cry when I had to look at me

seeing only the fat, not the facts

I called myself every horrible name I could think of

No energy, walking around like a zombie

Wasting my life

No fun at play practice, my passion for acting replaced with looking at food I could never eat on Pinterest

Finding friends in the community of “pro-ana” 

Learning how to eat less - exercise more

Become “perfect”

On the trip of a lifetime to New York I found no enjoyment,

instead just screaming in my head to not eat, not eat, not eat

When I saw Les Miserables live on broadway

I did not lose myself in the music or beauty

Instead filled with anxiety and dread

because I ate a piece of gum

When we got home I gave up

My parents interrogated me with terrified voices

“Gabby, what is wrong?”

So I went to the doctor and therapist weekly

In what I thought was the beginning of recovery

March

Eating 1,000 calories a day obviously meant I was better

I mean it was 800 more than the month before

Then I found I had no friends

Besides the cold that constantly plagued me

My bones made me happy

I wanted to be a skeleton

But even my bones were to big for my Eating Disorder

April

Finally done with school

Away from the place I hated with my whole being

But this didn’t stop me from hating my whole being

eating one Flintstone gummy vitamin for dessert

then feeling guilty about it

June

Going to a college class

having yet another awkward “No thanks I already ate”

when someone brought cookies

I loved the learning and exploration that this class gave me

Away from the smallness of 

highschool

Even though I had this new joy

I still was so far from happy

My therapist told me I needed the hospital,

that I was doing far from as good as I thought 

July

I gave up

I knew I couldn’t go on

Couldn’t keep doing this

My mom called the hospital, but they didn’t have room for me

My illness told me it was because I was not small enough

I never could believe that I was truly sick enough

I made a decision I could not keep going

I wanted an escape

I decided I would either die or go to the hospital

Any way to get away from the demons inside me

So I took some pills 

rode in an ambulance

Drank some charcoal

Then I had to stay for a week before I could go to treatment

My fourth of July had no fire works

Only my desire to give up

Then- I went to treatment

It was the scariest thing I had ever done

I thought I would be magically fixed

but I am still far from fixed

I had my 16th birthday on a psych ward

filled with kids with way worse problems than me

But they all left in a week

While my stay seemed never ending

August

I thought I would be out in time for school

A terrible disappointment when I was most definitely not

But that was not anywhere near uncommon

Every day seemed to be plagued by sadness and the longing to be home

Wanting to get away from the “crazy”

Not realizing how much of the “crazy” was still inside me

September

I started to enjoy the safety and comfort of treatment

Having the constant stream of people who cared about me

Therapy every day

An escape from life

Things seemed easy

Then I got the news that I was going home

The very thing I had wished for for so long

Then not knowing if I really wanted it

Going home

doing it on my own

it was scary and hard

I was lonely

No school, only online classes for this semester

October

And now

Everyday is still hard

Somedays better

Somedays falling into despair

But never giving up,

even though some days it is all I want to do

Wondering what the future will bring

Wondering when I will be free from this

Not liking my body but learning to live with it

Just last night I realized my hand no longer encircles my arm

and instead of joy for being healthy it made me miss the 

Eating Disorder’s harm

And I still can’t see how skinny I was when I was sick

so does that mean I’m still sick

Writing, writing, writing

About what hurts,

words of encouragement to my friends still in treatment,

trying to figure out me

And even though I still am filled with the unknown

I begin to learn how I am me

And maybe that is all I need

I now am excepting that I am

strong enough 

good enough

Enough

I am worthy of love

so worthy that I can begin to love myself

A year ago to today 

I have grown and discovered

but I am far from done

I am still transforming and know that I will probably always be

 

This poem is about: 
Me

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