They & you

They eat freely. Picking and choosing. Pondering tastes and textures. They sip and slurp.

You take ages to become comfortable. You choose each bite with the precision of a royal queen. Nothing will pass these lips that does not taste as it should.

They shop with abandon. Pulling bags and boxes from the shelves. Tossing cartons and containers into the cart.

You take time. It took so long for you to find the tasty foods you will ingest. Now you must make that time count.

They get hungry, and eat. They know food will be there for them whenever they need it. 

You get hungry, and you question it. Are you really hungry? What should you eat? What sounds good? But what if you’re wrong?

They welcome the opportunity to try new cuisine. They welcome hunger. 

You shy away from need and want. There is no need. And wanting equates to greed.

Who do you think you are? Really, who? Superwoman? Invincible? 

This disease has broken you. You aren’t even a hybrid, running off of an alternative source of energy. No. Because that is not sustainable. You can only live for so long chugging water and eating those foods.

Remember when you were on the brink? How you would feel time begin to slow. How you could barely hold your heavy head up.

How afraid you were of medicine. Cutting pieces off, or “forgetting” to take it all together. How you lied and believed the pills would turn your emotions off.

How tired and forgetful you were. How dead you felt inside. Remember the fear. The way anxiety held you in its grip just like a vise. 

How even the simplest things were fraught with tension. You had to do everything now or else you weren’t good enough.

How fearful you were of others. You knew everyone hated you and talked about you when you weren’t within hearing distance.

How cold you were. Summer was only a brief reprieve, and even then it was only on the hottest days.

How your lips turned blue when you drank your beloved ice cold Diet Coke.

How you feverishly read, lapping up words like water. Food might not sustain you, but a book did. 

How meals were filled with tension. How you couldn’t understand what your husband meant when he said he wanted to eat a meal with you.

How you hated to shower, because you knew you’d be too cold afterwards to get dressed.

How you would sooner starve than eat what you didn’t “want”.

How you lied so much to yourself and your family.

How you cried and begged for them to just let you go.

Thank god they were stronger. That they didn’t listen. Your husband gently reminds you of what could have been. He brings you to tears when he helps you imagine how they would have to explain your short life to your beloved youngest brother.

Sometimes we can’t see where we have been while we are still fleeing. Sometimes it takes bad times to remember the good. And vice versa. Remember your past. Forgetting could mean destruction. 

Looking back doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t mean you have to return to where you’ve been. Sometimes it can simply be seeing how far you’ve come.

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