I wrote this on a particularly rough day.
To those those of you who have read _The Eating Disorder I Didn't Have_ -- skipping meals isn't something I do often. Today was just one of those days where eating is hard, because I'm nervous and feel queasy in doing so.
Tears well in my eyes as I sit here, sipping my orange juice, not eating because I'm feeling depressed and wearied and feeling despicable for not eating because my sister had an eating disorder, and I should know better than to restrain myself from eating --
I didn't belong with the group I was going to eat lunch with, so I walked away - in part, because I didn't feel like eating, but also because I wanted to gauge how much they really wanted me around by weighing their reactions to my leaving.
"I don't feel like eating, so I'm just going to go to the library to study," I mumble.
They all hear me. Only one of them actually replies, and his answer is heartwrenching, at best. "Okay! See you!"
No fight. No protest. Just "Okay! See you!" Nothing like "You don't have to eat -- you can just sit with us and talk!" or even (what I was secretly hoping for), "Are you feeling okay?"
To which I would, of course, reply, "Yes, just fine and dandy."
Because, in some totally twisted, demented way, telling a believable lie makes me feel powerful.
It is in these moments, as I try to console my conscience and my growling stomach by gulping down half a cup of orange juice, that I realize how truly self-centered I am. The things I do and the things I say, well...I do them and say them in order to better my social standing. Do I really care about other people? Oh, how I would LOVE to say yes -- but can I? As I isolate myself because of my own insecurities, am I really caring about other people? Or am I satisfying some half-crazed, sick need to see how many people will follow me into the darkness (which is so far none, by the way).
I guess that's what I really want to know. Will you follow me into the darkness? Will you step inside the abyss of my mind? Will you look into my heart and love me, even if what you see makes you cringe?
Will you help me fight my monsters?
A friend comes by and asks, "Mind if I sit by you?"
I see a little bit of light and invite her to pervade my darkness. And I order a bagel to eat.