The World Looks Brighter From Behind a Smile

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You’re never fully dressed without a smile

3 years into my recovery. 6 years since the Demon appeared. There’s days I have that negative niggle in the back of my mind, the one that whispers things like I’m not good enough, I need to lose weight, everything will be better once I’m lighter. But those days are becoming more and more spread out and sometimes all it takes is for me to sit down, relax and just think of how far I have come.

To try focus on the positives rather than the negatives.

Someone told me the other week that they find it refreshing that I’m really nice and optimistic or something along those lines. I can’t quite remember their words but I remember thinking, don’t be silly. However, when I got home I remember sitting and just thinking about what they said, how I genuinely thought they were being honest and how, throughout everything, I’ve always stayed so optimistic.

So much has happened over the years but yet…I’m still this crazily happy, loveable, optimistic girl. I’m well aware I’m not everyone’s cup of tea but after all this time I’m still smiling.

Always happy. Always smiling.

I’ve been beaten down and broken time and time again. Every time I start to trust someone not to hurt me they go and crush me even harder and yet, I still get back up. I still have this heart full of love for my friends and family and all those in between.

I’ve actually told him. I don’t know how it came up but it did. I think he was asking about my rings and my tattoo and I think he knew there was something I wasn’t telling him. Something I was scared to tell him. I was scared because I didn’t want him to look at me differently, I didn’t want him to see some ‘broken mess’. I wanted him to still like me or, better yet, like me in the first place, and I had this fear that if he found out, he wouldn’t.

Sometimes I don’t mind being wrong.

It was very brief, I just mentioned how in sport, they pressured me to lose weight and so I did…just not healthily. I stopped eating and then developed bulimia to cope with trying to eat again. I didn’t think I was going to tell him. Not so soon. Not until I was sure he liked me. Who am I kidding? I had no idea when I was going to tell him. But I did. I remember apologising for telling him and he said I had nothing to be sorry for and to never apologise.

And I smiled. Always smiling.

After all this time, I do still panic about how people will look at me or treat me. I don’t want to be perceived as ‘damaged’ or ‘mental’ but I know that I won’t be perceived that way simply because I’m not.

I’m not a broken mess because I genuinely am one of the happiest people I know. I’m always smiling and looking for the positives. I see the best in people rather than the worst. Always giving people a chance and trying to be kind to others. Always putting my friends first and making other people happy because that’s what makes me happy. I can’t be perceived as damaged goods, not when I try to be a beautiful person. Not when I actually am a beautiful person. We’ve all got baggage, we’ve all got history and I shouldn’t worry how people perceive me because once they find out, they simply see the happy smiling girl who just so happens to have coped with shit.

Who just so happens to have gotten through it.

But still smiling. Always smiling.

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Stillness

Standing still but my mind won’t stop spinning. I don’t want to hurt like this and I don’t know what’s going to make it stop. I can’t decide which path to take and I know I’m hurting him. I can’t hurt him. I don’t want to break his heart and its breaking mine.

I need my brain to sit still. I need it to stop being a hazy mess but nothing seems to make it any clearer. Nothing is helping, nothing is going to help. I don’t want to put him in pain. I can’t bear to do that but I’m in pain. This decision is breaking me in two and it’s making me ill.

I can barely eat, I can barely sleep, I can barely sit still and I just want to be still. I want everything to be still and silent and empty so I can breathe.

I want this sea of emotions that’s getting darker and rougher to settle, be still and clear so I can do what is right.

I think I know.

But I don’t want to hurt him.

I never wanted to hurt him. Doing that kills me inside. It makes me hate myself.

I don’t want to hurt myself anymore.

I’m hurting enough already.

 

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Be mine

I feel terrible saying this because of what happened last week. I tried to talk about it but it was still too raw, and he felt I was justifying what happened. I do understand that.

But I want to go out. I want my boyfriend to come with me.

To be proud to come out with me. To want to be seen holding my hand.

To show everyone that I’m his.

I hate going to parties and the like without him. Everyone asking why my boyfriend wouldn’t come with me.

I want to have romantic meals, or a walk in the park.

I want him to show me off to his friends and to let me show him off to mine.

I want to go to a party and dance with my boyfriend rather than dancing on my own.

I hate seeing other couples there, holding hands, dancing, cuddling, kissing.

I love him so why does he not want to come for a drink with me, to a party, to a BBQ. He doesn’t even have to pay for it.

Just come with me. Be with me. Outside of the flat.

I want to go to a party, have a drink and a dance but with him. Not with my friends…not having to stop guys from trying to dance with me.

And the more I drink the more I wish he could be there with me, dancing, holding my hand. Just there with me.

So I drink more.

I drank more.

But I have no argument. No leg to stand on. Not any more.

I want to be looked at as though I am the most beautiful girl in the world. I want him to hold my hand on the walk home. I want to be treated like I’m not something to be lost. I want him to be there and just know that he can’t be without me.

I want him to meet my friends and I want to meet his.

I want him to show how proud he is to be mine…

How proud he is, for me to be his…

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Raw

They wanted to weigh me and I hadn’t anticipated that. They sat me down and oh so casually said they needed my weight

I haven’t seen my weight for more than two months and the instant panic made it impossible to speak, I could have told them I didn’t want to see it, or that maybe I didn’t have to, but I couldn’t. So I got up and I stood on the scales.

64.5kg

That’s what the skinny girl weighing me called out.

And the voices came running. The pain struck me and all I wanted to do was cry. I’m sat in the waiting room waiting for the consultant and the tears are burning, trying to burst and run down my face.

I haven’t seen my weight for more than two months and all those doubts were right. I’m fat. I’ve gained weight and I’m so fat. I need to lose it. I knew I needed to lose it but I ignored the voices and let myself eat. I allowed myself to eat similar amounts to everyone else and whilst I haven’t trained I have paid for it. Oh have I paid for all that over indulgence and wrong choices.

Why did I eat what I ate?

Why did I drink what I drank?

Why did I not train as much?

It’s my fault. I’ve gained so much weight and its all my fault. I feel numb and broken inside and it hurts. When that number was called out I felt as if a thousand knives stabbed me at once.

I just felt raw.

I felt the self-hatred come back. It seethed through my body and it burned my insides. My head started spinning and I had a lump in my throat. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I almost didn’t want to breathe as if I could pretend I wasn’t there. As if I could pretend it wasn’t true, but it was. Almost 65kg and yeah I had my clothes on, but that doesn’t really add much on, does it?

No point hiding from the fact that I’m fat. No point trying to comfort myself and soften the blow that I’m so fat right now. Its blatantly obvious. No point denying it.

One year since things went downhill with swimming and I’ve gained 9kg.

I feel like a disgrace and I need to get my anger out. I just want to scream and shout and just cry…I just really want to curl up and cry away all the pain.

As if crying would make it better anyway.

I can’t even describe how I’m feeling with my words in any sense that is actually an adequate representation. All I know is that I am fat and it hurts. I used to be 55kg and I want to be that weight again. I don’t care if I was purging at that weight, I just want to get there without purging.

I want to be that tiny girl again.

I need to be slim. I need to be better than what I am and I want it now. I don’t like feeling this hurt, I don’t like the pain that burns in my head and my body and I’m sick. I’m sick of being this mess. I’m sick of my life revolving around my weight and the sooner I sort it out the better.

I feel so raw.

I need to sort it out.

I feel so numb.

I just need to lose weight.

I feel so broken.

I just need to be slim again, that small again

I’m so scared that I can’t do it. I’m so frightened that I am always going to be this fat.

I want to do it healthily but I’m scared that that option won’t work.

I just feel empty inside. I feel so hurt and depressed when I look at myself. I want to be more than this. I want to be slimmer.

I feel so broken and numb, but it doesn’t feel like there’s anything I can do about it.

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Countdown

You’ve not eaten all day.

You need to eat.

And then it begins.

It starts with a question of ‘why?’

Why did I eat?

Why could I not have been stronger?

And then the fear kicks in.

The fear of being fat.

The fear of being ugly.

The fear of becoming that unwanted fat and ugly girl again.


And then the thoughts start whispering.

I’m weak.

I’m so fat

I’m such a failure.

I’m always going to be fat.

I’m never going to achieve anything if I don’t lose weight.

I’m such a disgrace.

And then the thoughts get louder.

I shouldn’t have eaten.

It’s all my fault.

I feel so full.

I’m going to be fat.

No.

I am fat.

I’m never going to be slim.

And then the thoughts start shouting.

So fat.

So ugly.

Failure.

Worthless.

Unwanted.

Disgrace.

Fat, worthless and unwanted.

And then another whisper begins to grow.

Just get rid.

One more time.

Get rid.

Lose some calories.

Less calories.

Less fat.

Be slimmer.

Get rid.

Starve tomorrow.

Just once.

Do it.

Feel lighter.

Get rid.

Feel less full.

Get rid.

This once.

Stop tomorrow.

You’ll become slimmer.

Just until you reach 58KG.

Then you can stop.

But for now.

Get rid.

Get rid.

Get rid.

Get rid.

Get rid.

Gain some control over your weight and get rid of it.

And then the countdown starts


Five Minutes

Get rid in five minutes. It’ll be easier in five minutes.

Four Minutes

You’ll be lighter when it’s over.

Three Minutes

Just until you get what you want. Just until you’re slimmer and more beautiful

Two Minutes

Don’t do it.

One Minute

I need to do it. I can’t do it any other way. I’m such a disgrace, no wonder no one likes me.

50 Seconds

I shouldn’t do this. But I’m so fat. I hate being so fat. Why can’t I be slim and beautiful? Just once.


40 Seconds

It won’t be once. You’ll do it again. And then you’ll have to tell everyone what a disgrace you are, and they’ll hate you for it. You’re such a let down. That Girl relapses…again.

30 Seconds

It’ll be over soon.

20 Seconds

Get ready.


15 Seconds

Sooner you do this the sooner it stops.

10

I need to get rid.

9

I’m so fat.

8

Everything depends on me being lighter.

7

I hate myself for doing this.

6

I’m so disgusting.

5

Fat and disgusting.

4

I need to do this.

3

I need to be lighter

2

I need to be slimmer.

1

I hate being fat.

0

I hate being me.

And then it starts. Take a deep breath and hope for the best. Hope its quick. Hope it doesn’t hurt too much. Hope you’ll get rid of everything. Hope you’ll be in control again. Hope no one finds out. Hope to be slimmer. Lighter. Thinner. More beautiful.

And if it doesn’t go to plan. Take a moment and the countdown starts again. The thoughts louder, the pain deeper. The fear greater.

Hatred seething.

And if it works…relief…inexplainable relief. A slight moment of calm. That’s better. I don’t feel so full now. I won’t be as fat tomorrow. I might be 58KG again. Maybe, just maybe. Back on track now. I can do this properly now.

10

Oh god.

9

I can’t do this any other way.

8

Why did I do that?

7

I’m such a disgrace.

8

I’m a mess.

5

I’m broken.

4

Disgusting

3

Weak.

2

Fat.

1

If you don’t eat you won’t do this.

0

Don’t eat.

The cycle.

The cycle that doesn’t have a determinable beginning.

The cycle that never ends.

The cycle that tries to balance out but never does.

The cycle I can’t break out of.