for the past seven years, i could have counted on one hand the number of instances i have relinquished even the smallest pieces of trust to my body.
i could have counted on one hand the number of times i had willingly fed my physical being more than what i was “allowed” as per my meal plan, more than my treatment teams in various eating disorder centers had “forced” me to consume, more than i, this chronic and hopeless and broken disease of a girl, “deserved”.
i went from a shell of a human devoid of anything except the desire to end my own life, to a girl inhabiting a body that takes up more space than she could have ever chosen for herself, all while taking precise care to never willingly let go of my comforting sickness completely and listen to the very thing that has kept me held together for every moment i have ever survived.
in truth, listening to the physical hunger of this body, this body that at some points creates such vast loathing within me that i am compelled to cut my own escape from my skin, is still foreign.
listening to the physical hunger of this body, this body that at some points creates such immense hatred within me that i yearn once again for the apathy of my anorexia, is still foreign.
and yet, tonight, for a reason beyond my ability to fully comprehend in this moment, i listened.
and i may have only listened with a four pieces of dried mango, three dried apricots, three fresh cherries, and a handful of dry cheerios, but i listened. i listened more intently than i have ever allowed myself to listen since i was barely thirteen years old.
my god, i cannot believe that i listened.
terror and pride, shame and hope, flooding through me in one single crashing wave.
i listened because i have spent so many years living in a world of relentless fear that holds my very lungs pinned to the cold, cold earth, and my soul aches to rise.
i listened because though today i may not be able to fathom feeling love towards this body that i call my own, i yearn to cultivate gratitude for it as it carries me through the beauty and the pain of this world.
i listened because continuing to allow my self-disgust to be the loudest voice in my world leaves room for no truth, for wholeness, for becoming, or for love.
i listened because if i am to ever reach this indescribable place of freedom and recovery, i know wholeheartedly that this is the next small and true step.
and i am nowhere near cured and i am a long way from the end of this journey, but my god i may simply be just a little less excruciatingly broken as i once believed my whole self to be.
and the truth of anorexia is the fact that i still may look into the mirror mere seconds after writing this and wish to shred this body to pieces, letting the darkness cloud my mind once again as the fist of shame clenches my breath and i wish to run away from this body and this prison and this life, but i know in my truth that if i am ever going to get anywhere else besides where i have been, if i am to live any life besides the one where i continue to be held hostage to the shadows, it is small acts of listening like these that will bring me ever closer.
i do not need to know the whole path, for in fact all i ever need to know is the very next best step.
and that step, however unsure of it we may be, however petrified by fear we may seemingly become, is always the inherent trusting of our minds, bodies, and souls that will bring us to where we are meant to be.
so, here is where we cast off our old cloaks of dust and fear.
here is where we realize that it is our minds who have betrayed our bodies for much much too long, and never the other way around.
here is where we trust our bodies as they hesitantly shake off their own terror, and allow us the chance to prove that we will not live out the rest of our days forcing starvation on their fragile hearts.
here is where we extend grace to our bodies exactly as they are, especially when we believed for so long that they could in no way be trusted.
here is where we trust.
trust it all.
the mind. even the darkest of corners.
the body. even the pieces you wish did not have to exist.
the soul. the soul that could not be whole without mind and body both.
the soul always knows best, so trust all that holds it so gracefully.
so, nurture your wholeness.
feed yourself all the dried mango and cherries and apricots and cheerios you desire.
and the ice cream. and the laughter. and the friendship. and the waffles. and the dance classes. and the language classes. and the noodle soup. and the sunrises. and the smoothies. and the coffee shops. and the polaroids. and the cookie dough. and the love and hope and freedom and life.
feed yourself the life.
our minds yearn for it, our bodies yearn for it, our souls yearn for it.
we know the way.