I have no prized corpse to show you. This cape that you mentally photoshopped on me does not exist and it sure as fuck does not make me a hero. You picture this beast to be so ugly that when you put it and me side by side, you go on and on about my radiance when you fail to look at me as an individual. You send your sisters, girlfriends, coworkers, roommates, and strangers to me as if I am some sort of DIY Recovery Pinterest with a promise that if they ‘follow’ me they will magically be cured of any addiction or sadness or loss. Some of my scars are visible but you look at them as something to be proud of when there are moments when I look at them wishing that they would be deeper. I am a person with a disease not a girl holding up her sword with honor after she’s conquered a demon.
Acknowledge me for me. This story that you say is mine falls so freely from your lips is a fairy tale that never happened. You know my name and my disorder but you don’t know anything in between. This disorder requires much more depth that a scale or a diet, it goes down to the foundations of who/what I think I really am. You starve yourself to fit it a size for a casket, not a pair of jeans. This disorder is killing me but to you that’s just a small error that can be covered up by calling me a hero. You can paint my face into something radiant to show off but when you wipe it away you will find that there is no sign of life in the girl who you praised for fighting to live. This pressure is restricting me into one identity and forcing me to purge out any other aspect of me that doesn’t fit in. I have days where I have huge recovery wins but you’re too damn busy celebrating the fact that you know a girl with an eating disorder to even notice.
Tell me I am beautiful because you truly believe it and not because you think that by praising my appearance you have done all you can do to make me better. Ask me a question with depth to how I am doing and not “You’re better now, right?” Give me permission to speak about other things. You are so focused on the past when you’ve made it seem like you are deaf to hearing what my goals are. I am a person who struggles but survives because I don’t have a choice. I have stories, I have faults, and I have made mistakes and if you get to know me you will learn that. You will also see that I am so much more than what you think I am. I am funny, I am smart, I’m a great fucking friend and I am kind. Get to know Sarah for who she is and not what she has.