You who takes the beatings of both others and my former self—
Who despite everything still loves me
Loves me in my self-hatred.
Loves me in my need for vanity and control.
Loves me when I try to die.
You hold carefully—unwavering.
My body who took care of me—
Tried to keep me safe from infection,
Breaks and damage,
You protected me from people I thought I loved,
And people who I thought loved me.
She held me tightly when I tried to leave myself–
And I ask why she stayed
While carefully working to purge myself of everything.
This body replied that we forgive and stay
Because it understands we too—are not perfect.
She taught me to for the first time, love.
And my body breathes carefully.
She would not trust me for years—and certainly,
How could I blame her?
She held onto everything I consumed after the famine,
Just in case she was once again returned as a prisoner in this war.
She kept my midnight secrets as if we were on our last legs,
And only later did I realize—we were.
This body and I danced in a tango of intuition and what I thought was dying
When in fact it is called—coming alive.
This place of eating is where I convinced myself
My need is glutton
And I am a monster.
It is only later I learn it was just the opposite—
I was brave…I am brave.
To die to myself is simple,
But to willingly live—Is one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
It took me years to conceptualize that fat is not shameful—
Nor is it an emotion.
There is nothing wrong with loving yourself.
I am learning—though it is hard,
That I need to love myself.
That perhaps, there is no selfish
Nor—should I push back against this vessel who works so diligently to sustain my life.
She knows her job well.
Eventually with time and learning—
I should have died, but I am living proof that anorexia can be won.
The physical aspects.
But mostly it was my mind that needed a savior.
My professors and doctors alike were wrong.
We with eating disorders are not difficult—just hungry.
Give us food but give us relationships.
We can make it, I promise.
I’ve learned to trust this body,
For once, I let her guide me,
And she has taught me
That we are beautiful.
That I am beautiful.
But most importantly
I have learned that being brave is simply showing up
Because forever and always—
I will be enough.