I think a question many of us ask ourselves in a time of crisis- midlife or not-so midlife- is, “what if things had been different?”
What if I had eaten all my vegetables?
What if I had read the Bible?
What if I had worn matching socks?
What if I had faith- in something? In someone?
What if things had been different?
What if I had been different?
I’m not going to sit here and repeat, in detail, how eating disorders are “about control” because, to be honest, we’ve all heard it a thousand times. Well, at least I’ve heard it a thousand times. It’s a buzzword. It’s reductive, categorical, and cliché. Yes, eating disorders are about control but, they’re also about history, philosophy, society, personal strangeness, family fuck ups, birthday wishes, Sunday sermons, science classes, visual design, genetic codes; genetic make-ups, breakups, and everything in between. They’re about childhoods. They’re about upbringings. They’re about pasts.
I am a ribbon winning artist, I am a Newport chain-smoker, I am a high fashion enthusiast, I am a hypocrite.
I starve in hopes that I will, someday, achieve perfection.
I purge in hopes that I will, someday, gain self-control.
I am every mistake and every triumph.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that while, yes, maybe if things had been different or if I had been different, maybe I wouldn’t have developed an eating disorder, but, at the same time, maybe I wouldn’t have an incentive to strive for a better tomorrow. Maybe I wouldn’t have a story to tell.
Maybe I wouldn’t have a reason to celebrate a day like today; three meals down.
Today, I was triumphant.
Today, I won.