By Janelis Duran
I. A Letter to My Eating Disorder Most days, you go to sleep hungry. Surviving on long-forgotten meals and their scrapbook picture memories. On the feeling of cool water hitting an empty stomach. On the ice, and the way it melts perfectly in your mouth. On air, for the days that even water and ice become too much for you to handle. On lying to others about your recovery, when really you’re just dying. And I can’t help but ask WHY? Why? What did the body do to warrant this type of abuse? In which every bathroom remembers your name. Your name… is… My pride. It’s losing 10 pounds in a week. It's bending over and letting others marvel at your spine. It's letting them stare at your thigh gap. It’s a joke about weighing 95 pounds on a good day. Every day is a good day. Right? When every bathroom scale judges your weight. Your name… is… The skeleton in my closet. It's my second-grade secret. It’s lunch boxes filled with half-empty water bottles and gum. It’s leaving the dinner table 5 times in 20 minutes. How many calories are in this meal? It's the calculator in my head, never stopping. It's missing periods and wondering why? Your name... is… My shame. It's my long-awaited apology to my body. II. An Ode/Apology to My Body Body please forgive me. Forgive me for all that I have done. It's not healthy to drink so much water that you become a bathtub for my organs. My organs become floating loofahs drifting inside all that empty space. Body forgive me. For ripping away the parts of you that I hate. For testing blades across your skins, for cutting you open just to confirm that you too can bleed. Body forgive me. For making up excuses on why I didn't feed you. For starving in hopes you will become thinner. For forgetting to breathe. For prioritizing work, a game, a good book, over making sure that you were taken care of. Body forgive me. Forgive my negligence. For finding pride in your pain. Body forgive me. For not being able to ignore the calculator in my head, it's like trying to ignore subtitles while watching a movie. Body forgive, for not being able to love you the way you deserve to be loved. Body forgive me, I am sorry. Sorry for being ashamed of you. For constantly finding myself picking away the imperfection. Sharp edges, loose parts, boxy hips, and chest. Trying to change them. Make them perfect. And I’m sorry for hating the womanhood you have given me. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for still hurting. Body forgive me. For still lying about it. Body forgive me, for I’m still learning. Learning how to love your everything. Learning how to do the easy things. Like, eating when I am hungry. Learning to say I am beautiful and mean it. Learning how to twist my tongue around words that resemble the truth. Learning that we are both survivors and not one pair of prying eyes or leering faces, or angry words, can take away all the things we have fought for. Body forgive me, know that you are beautiful, even on those days, I do not think it to be true. So until the day comes, when I’m no longer ashamed of you, body please forgive me.