I wear a ring on my puke finger.
My middle finger.
I decided to nickname it “Puberty” because although I know I can’t entirely blame that very awkward, very traumatic stage in life for my split ends, mild back-ne, not so mild teen angst, need for adrenaline, or perfectionistic tendencies, I still felt the name was fitting.
I’ve been in Illinois for a little over a week now and, since being back, I’d forgotten how scary recovery was. The refeeding process begins and you start to feel your body change. Once visible bones begin to retire beneath heavy layers of skin, your cheeks begin to plump with water weight and lost collagen and your dignity seems to dissipate in the calories of your meal plans alongside everything you thought you were.
Because every bite of every meal is like a war raised to a Hiroshima and Nagasaki degree.
Because Reduced Fat and serving sizes still abate, dictate and translate you- to fight against every unwavering force of your being seems hardly probable.
Because not even stability can make you sane.
With that being said, I’d also forgotten how absolutely amazing recovery was. Sitting in front of the dinner table- sometimes for minutes, mostly for hours- partly devastated over the fact that you have to consume seemingly copious amounts of calories, fats, and artificial flavors but mostly grateful over the fact that the seemingly copious amounts of calories, fats, and artificial flavors is all you have to be devastated about.
Recovery is when measuring your worth doesn’t come in the form of how many bones you can visibly account for or how many verses you can spit in Lil’ Wayne’s A Milli but, instead, by how many lives you save or how many things worth writing Bibles and building momunuments over you make happen – because being gangsta, even with all your complexes, is more complex than that. It’s when waking up seems to become less of a chore and more of a privelage. It’s knowing that things are tangible- when the “when I grow up, I wanna be…”‘s seem more in reach than you thought they were.
It’s when failing seems less crippling; when taking a chance: [chans, chahns] noun, verb, chanced, chanc·ing, adjective
a possibility or probability of anything happening
seems more appealing than the last time you checked.
It’s when saying sorry is okay with you because you’re okay with you.
It’s waking up in oversized T-shirts with ashy knees and tangled hair knowing that you are worth it. Every single bit of it. Because no one should ever be ashamed of the thighs, once the foundations of our first steps, that now forward us in this world, or the waists that awkward boys tried holding at the sixth grade dance, or the cheeks, plump with water weight and big dreams, that our parents once kissed goodnight, for many nights,
for every night,
because no matter what the media says, the models of Vogue can never oppress us. The molds of beauty will never contain us. The figures of perfection can’t ever erase us.
We will forever have our innocence.
I wear a ring on my puke finger.
On it is encrypted “Faith, Hope, Love”.
I wear it to remind me to have faith even in the times I don’t know what in, hope even in my darkest of hours, and love even when I feel undeserving. Everyday, I am reminded of why I am deserving of recovery. I find it in the way that the morning air conditioning teases my pillowcase, I find it in the way my top lip stutters when I get way too emotional while watching Secret Millionaire, but most importantly,
I find it in the ring that I wear on my puke finger.
Because everyday I have something to work towards.
Find your reason.
And hold on to it with everything you’ve got.
You deserve it.