giving up.

i feel fat tonight.

there. i said.

sitting here, writing this, i feel fat.

i suppose i felt adventurous come the start of the new year.

and so i agreed.

to the second part of the eating disorder treatment.

the first part is seeing the therapist. check.

the second: standing in front of a mirror and describing your body in neutral terms.

kill me now. just kidding. totally doable (she says through grit teeth).

in school we once had a director who said you should always begin something either before or long after you're ready. and so i thought, before. this is good. before, before, before.

when all the shit hit the fan, i cannot tell you how many times i was asked what it was that precipitated a binge. what feeling exactly caused the breakdown of cognition. and again and again (as kindly as my southern roots demanded) i replied, that i did. not. know. that if i knew, i probably wouldn't be in this position.

there were so many feelings, so tightly wound, so intricately crossed that they became something else entirely--that unnameable thing giving me hell.

but in the process of standing in front of a mirror and describing my arms as tubular, or my neck as two gently sloping lines i have begun to pull one string at a time from that unnameable thing. and for the first time i am beginning to know exactly what emotion at any given moment is the puppeteer moving ned along--casting him in and out of the light.

i always thought i would know the end had come because i would wake up and think: yes, yes this is the body i would have had at this very moment had i never had an eating disorder.

but here's the thing. that is an unknowable thing. i will never ever be able to know the answer to that.

it was standing in front of the mirror for the fifth and final session on friday, that the real answer came. i have to give up. completely. let go. offer it up to the gods. i have to take all those old patterns of thinking and say, no more.

i have to stop making lists of what i've eaten. of what i might eat. i have to stop feeling for my collar bone. checking my stomach when i wake up. or wrapping my fingers around my wrist to check the diameter.

and beyond that i have to forgive myself. let go of the guilt and the anger and all the preconceived notions about what it is i deserve.