I’m in my university’s super lab right now (fancy shit, right?) in Greensboro. It’s weird when you enter a place that has been so familar in your past that when you come back, it is easy to feel like you never left. When most people say that, they say it with a shadow, but the feeling that I never left terrifies me.
Because before I left I was so sick, so frail, so lost about who I was or what I wanted, I just lived in a colorless world where each day was a competition to test how much I could truly hate myself. Even though everything looks the same, everytime I step on this campus it is like stepping in the ashes of my eating disorder. The shadows of the places where I starved, purged, and slowly committed suicide are all around but disguised as a normal college and I am supposed to enbrace it as a normal student.
But really, I am in the lab where I learned all my distorted nutrition facts and created rigid rules that I followed. Attached to here is the subway where I ate the same damn salad everytime I was there and near that is the bathroom that I would use to purge every ounce of the small salad I painfully choked down. Upstairs is the Starbucks where I got all my ‘meals’ which consisted of black coffee with splenda. Leaving that building as I walk to my dorm is the bench where I spent my final days resting because a simple wake wore me out and left me breathless. Entering my dorm was the eye of the storm. The office where I spoke few truths of how extreme my disorder was, my room was the epicenter of my self hatred. Where I cut myself, where I had my scale that was the most abusive relationship I’ve ever had, where I purged in a small container while I played my netflix loudly so nobody could hear my screams for help from purging.
I pass the cafeteria that was my worst nightmare, where I rarely binged and ate so planned and plainly, analyzing every bite while I pretended to be the perfect Sarah that I wanted everyone to see. I drive by the School of Education building where the professors made me feel so weak and treated me like I was nothing.
Here it is, my dream school. I despertly want to walk on this campus with the smile that so many of my peers have, looking at the campus as there home away from home, the place that is supposed to create the best times of your life but all is left is ashes for me.
It kills me because I want to love this school so badly. I want to walk on this campus and tell you that here is where I want to recover but I am not sure. As fucked up as it may sound, the hell I created was my eating disorder’s self haven, a place where it could thrive while I fed my disease rather than myself, makes me want my disorder so badly. My eating disorde was my blanket, it lied and kept me safe so stepping on the campus without it, it makes me feel volunerable, worthless, fat, and depressed.
What did I do so wrong to deserve this? I am not trying to throw a pity party but how the hell is this fair? Why couldnt these days be my glory years? Why was I destined for this? Why cant I just love myself? Why did I work so hard to get back here only to feel so confused? Why can’t I just have something that I truly want?
I would be lying to you if I told you I wasnt terrifed to come back here in the Fall. I am not even sure if it’s a good idea. I think sometimes I want to be a normal person so badly that I allow it to fog the reality that I am very good at my eating disorder and this place is it’s arena.
I try to tell myself that I could be wrong. I could return and be so strong in my recovery that I shock everyone, including myself. I keep telling myself that over and over.
I could be wrong
I could be wrong
That’s whats annoying about recovery. Allowing life to happen and not trying to control the circumstances. I know what would happen if I obeyed Ana once again but I have no idea what would happen if I kept working and began to live again. I feel safest with plans, with rules, with a predetermined future that I had planned so carefully and I have to let go of that control. And it’s so fucking hard.
I could be wrong but if I am, how the hell am I going to do this?