TW: weight loss, body image talk
Today I stepped on the scale and began to cry as I watched the numbers settle, barely reaching 100. I looked up into the mirror. Avoiding eye contact with my tear streaked face, I scanned every inch of freckled porcelain set against the coffee colored backdrop of the bathroom walls. My waist was drawn in as if someone had tied a gift bow around it too tight. It gave the illusion that I had some curves, ‘hips’. If you were to touch them, all you would feel is bone. My ribs pushed at my skin. Every time I took a breath they pushed harder, trying to find a way out. My collarbone came to two peaks in the front of my chest, the hollows they created almost as deep as the ones under my eyes. My eyes; always they have battled with my sense of ‘normalcy’. A normal, healthy person does not look like they went 12 rounds with Muhammad Ali everyday. I had even gotten 10 hours of sleep the night before. It looked as if I were wearing a smoky eye; my lids naturally an exhausted orangey-brown. Underneath were a mix of greys and browns so dark they treaded on black, feathered in were unhealthy looking blues, purples, and reds.
I could go on and detail every little aspect about my body that emphasizes the fact that my BMI is 16. I’m not going to.
When I finished noting my dark circles, I stopped. At this point in my obsessive breakdown I had been sobbing; shudders running through my body like electric shocks. I met my own gaze. I stopped crying. I pulled my clothes on and came straight into my bedroom. Pulling out my laptop, I began to write. I began typing this very blog entry, because God knows you can’t stand around all day deconstructing your body’s entire physical state (that you have absolutely no control over). But you can do something with those feelings and thoughts. Put ’em to paper and at least they stop banging on your skull for a bit.
I am terrified for my future at this point. I honestly am scared. I don’t know how I will survive if I keep losing weight and become a weak, shell of myself. This is chronic illness. On top of my carpet bag of other BS, there is this. This may very well be a problem I deal with for the rest of my life. I have been dealing with it for my entire life! Since I was born my GI tract has never cooperated with me. Causing me so much pain, making me miss out on fun times and opportunities. And no one has told me anything; what is wrong, what will help, how to cope. I pray hard everyday this new GI doc will be different. God I pray he is. I need answers or a finger pointed in a direction at least. I chose to tell myself that no matter what my outside may look like, I am still me. I have no idea where I saw this but it read “You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body”. You are you know matter what. Scars, tubes, lines, negative limbs, assistive devices, services dogs, any weight; you are a person with a mind and personality no different than if you were a blank, neutral slate.
I never do any of this for pity or attention. I do this because I need to. Talking things out, even to an anonymous audience is therapeutic in a way. Gets things off my mind and on to paper. Who knows someone may be fighting a similar battle, reads this, and finds solace in the facts someone out there is having ups and downs just like them. That they are not alone.