It’s 3AM. I’ve hardly slept. I am hungry; painfully hungry. I turn on to my side and feel my ribs. I am relieved to feel them pushing through the skin more than they were some days before.
How wonderful it is to feel my bones. I tell myself this is success. The success I’ve deserved for so long.
But I’d been “successful” for many months now. It had been brewing for years, like dark storm clouds slowly rolling in; blackening the days. This is what I’d always wanted, I told myself. To fade away. To be elegant. Lighter. Take up less space.
At that time, I thought the years of self-hate and school-yard teasing were behind me. My thinness was proof that I had overcome it all and was far stronger than anyone, or even myself, had ever thought. But all this – my shrinking body, dry skin, depression and silence – was proof it had affected me far more than I’d ever know.
It was some days after that sleepless night that it came to a head. I felt like I was going mad. I was sick of lying. My outgoing, food-loving, always-laughing self had been replaced by a husk of someone overwhelmed by anxiety, control, anger and sadness.
The weight of my secrets came too great to bear. I broke down in front of my mother. We already had a broken house. She was carrying so much more than she deserved – and yet – she gave me the strength and hope I had lost. She had always cared and listened, with that night no exception.