Trigger warning: Bulimia, anorexia, sexual assault, suicide
I tell my roommate I’m ordering Uber Eats. I don’t ask if she wants any because I don’t want her to see what’s in my order. I say I’ll shower at 8. I run the water and it takes a while until I’m done. “Sorry for running up the water bill,” I want to say. I’m not in the shower for 25 minutes—maybe 17 purging and eight in the water rinsing off? It’s still bad, though. I wish I could stop, because it’s shitty of me to raise our utilities. I want to ask if they can hear me choking on spinach dip. I want to ask if they know what I’m doing in there. We used to talk about it, but it seems like that door has shut, and so I am on my own.
When my boyfriend and I fuck, I can’t breathe anymore when he’s on top of me. At first I thought it was a trigger from my rape three years previous. Fucking PSTD. Now I realize it’s a potassium deficiency. We talked about them in nutrition class in second year. You never think it’ll happen to you. “I’m careful,” I say to myself, “I replenish my electrolytes after I vomit.” But suddenly you can’t keep up with the pace and the wear and tear and you are losing the race. My heart hurts a lot now. I have an eye twitch and I get bad feet and leg cramps. I try to pretend I don’t notice myself sleeping 10 hours every night and still feeling exhausted.
Before, when I was 15, I had anorexia. And I pretended I couldn’t count my ribs through my singlet during cross country meets. I loved the wind whistling through my hair; I loved feeling fast. I loved running from what was chasing me. It’s easy to deny what you’re doing to yourself if it keeps you energized and alive. If it makes you feel like you again.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I have a long history of these things. I was born a perfectionist; I stopped eating at 14 and couldn’t stop eating at 18. The love of my life climbed on top of me when I was drunk and put himself inside me. I still can’t rinse the taste of vodka from my mouth or the paint splotches from my shower at home. I wish I could run as far and as fast as I can from me. But I couldn’t. I can’t.
I started drinking excessively at 18 and a half and started throwing it all up at 19. I wish I could say I was better at 21. I wish I could say the ghost of that boy doesn’t climb on top of me anymore. I wish I could say that he wasn’t the same boy who helped me through my anorexia before the breakup, before that one night. I wish I could say I was trying and I knew what to do, but the only thing I’m trying to do is kill myself slowly. And I think I’m succeeding.