subject line: better

 

Roswell, Georgia

I remember when it got bad. You know, the kind of bad that looked like swollen ankles and acid-bruised knuckles.
I remember the nights where I’d take a shower during dinner time just to drown out the smell. Or when I’d search relentlessly for a piece of gum to take the edge off the hunger.
I remember the times when I cried on my bathroom floor because my throat hurt and my fingers were covered in whatever I’d been forced to eat earlier that day.
I remember the gym being a drug and the blood in my mouth and how I’d run until I couldn’t see straight.
I remember when none of it was enough to numb the pain of the past few years, so I put that blade to my wrist. I can still picture my mom crying when she saw the scars.

I remember the first treatment center and the tears streaming down my face when I walked out. I remember the second one, where it finally felt manageable. And I remember the third one, where they made me talk about carrots and asked me to paint my feelings. And I remember the first time I sat across from my counselor I see every Tuesday now, and how it felt like home.

I remember the night I promised my aunt I wouldn’t cut anymore. And I remember when I started eating again, and my mom would sit with me and just talk about nothing in particular for hours to keep me from purging. And I remember when I’d skip a day of working out and I didn’t hate myself for it.

And in a couple of months, I’ll look back and remember today. I’ll remember that I ate three meals. And that I didn’t go to the gym. And that my strong, beautiful body carried me everywhere I needed to go.

So, yes, I remember when it got bad. How could I forget? But, oh, my goodness do I remember when it got better again.