It’s been a whole year; a year ago today I took the leap into self care and decided it was time to get my shit together.
You see, a year ago today, I was freshly single. By that I mean, I had been broken up with this guy (we’ll call him B) for about 5 months, but it still felt fresh and new, like a scrape on your knee that cracks every time you move, constantly threatening to bleed.
B and I had been dating for about 40 months (that’s 3 years and 4 months for those of you that can’t count). Though everything seemed straight out of a cute and sappy movie for the first 6 months, little things began piling up. They were tolerable at first, these little things. We annoyed each other, we hurt each others feelings, we cried, but we laughed! We sang to each other in the dark when we should have been sleeping. We danced in public, we talked about our future and our pasts. We went to new places, we exchanged gifts, we tried new foods, we shared everything. We were mostly happy.
At least on the outside.
At least for the first year and a half.
As time went on we began to torture each other. We told half truths. We stayed out late. We yelled at each other, never bothering to listen. We would resent the other spending time with friends because both my friends and his friends would always release little bugs of doubt, to skitter around when I had a moment of rest; exclaiming that there was always a newer and better model. We’d put each other down over anything: serious or insignificant. We’d go days without speaking to each other, though we lived in the same apartment, sharing the same meals, the same bed, the same growing distaste for each other.
Two things catalyzed the ending of this once amazing structure: One, we got into a fist fight once. I swung first- I regret it to this day, it was almost 2 years ago. Two, we couldn’t trust each other for anything. It was always grilling time in the B & me household.
Moving on from the backstory, I became miserable. Though I clung to the relationship. Until October 17, I’d given up on trying to play the games back; I had given up on bargaining, rationalizing, making excuses, and I most importantly had enough of feeling like I would never be good enough.
Those five months were extremely difficult. I spent them in strangers beds, drinking, smoking anything I could find, self harming, barely holding on to my job at the local shoe store, barely holding on to my existence.
I couldn’t handle it for too long, I quit my job.
I then found another one at a call center that paid very well. Well enough for me to fill my house with frivolous crap and pretend like I wasn’t wishing to die every day.
I stopped eating almost entirely. I ate maybe twice a week. I drank water and red bull- religiously. I smoked about a pack and a half of cigarettes a day- cowboy killers. Maybe more if I was feeling particularly shitty. I would spend my lunch breaks getting high in my car, never even leaving the parking lot. I would spend my 15 minute breaks, running to my car to spend at least 7 minutes alone, getting as elevated as possible, only to make my way back upstairs, make a phone call, then realize I couldn’t even concentrate on what I was doing because I felt so emotionally withdrawn. I would beg my supervisor to let me go to the bathroom, where I would cry as silently as I could until it was hard to breathe. After trying to regain composure, I would go back to my cubicle, looking at my feet as I walked to pretend I didn’t notice the jeering stares and the mouthing ‘are you okay?’
I was 5’6 weighing 93 pounds. My clothes hung off of me. My cheek bones protruded way past their usual amount. I had perfect strangers ask me if I was okay, because I ‘looked ill’. I had coworkers ask me what I ate for lunch because they ‘never saw me with food’. My family members would send me home with food and well intentioned orders to eat.
I stopped getting periods entirely. I started having stomach pains whether I ate or didn’t eat. My teeth and jaws were always sore. I had constant headaches and couldn’t ever decide whether I was drop dead tired or wide awake.
All I knew was that I wanted to be by the ocean and smoking. Alone, forever.
But it’s been a year since then.
I’ve made strides.
I’m now about 130-ish weight wise. I have regular periods. I’m happy, feeling loved, feeling loving, feeling successful, feeling good to be alive.