The Shadow

She’s walking fast. But, she’s walking fast for two reasons today. She’s walking fast because she ate a piece of bread and been thinking about it all day. She thought about this weight in her stomach, about her belly plumped by this new food, and about how thick her waist would be the next day. She thought about it, again and again and again, and it terrified her. Thus, to erase this fear that never leaves her, she’s running and she’s imagining this piece of bread disappearing her emptied stomach.

She cracked, she is so weak. Incapable to keep her determination, incapable to resist this invisible chain throwing her on the fridge. Unstoppable. As if she looked at herself from the outside. She is scared, so scared to get bigger, so scared to see the number on the scale. She tried not to go anymore, but if she doesn’t know which number is printed on her body, it is as if anxiety drowned her. It’s as if she was distending more every second. Thus, to hide the dread, she reduces quantities. What a relief, how proud she is when she manages to handle her rotten instincts. But, because she can’t stand her reflection, she wants to lose weight now, get pretty quickly, and be normal faster. Thus, she’s working herself to death in the gym center. She thinks she’s punishing herself, in a way, to be as she is and she is persuading herself that intense diet is her last chance to be happy. Eating terrifies her. But sometimes, she loses control and in less than a second, the fridge is empty. And she is so scared, all of sudden. She is so ashamed, she feels like a furious beast and she feels even dirtier when her roommates come home. She doesn’t want anybody to know, to notice how pathetic she is, or to see how she eats. Because she is fat. So she empties herself, but the nervous knot is still there. So out of stress that any food was left out, she goes for a run. Endlessly. Eternally. Restlessly.

She is walking fast to escape “The Shadow” who appeared without her knowing how or when. This shadow who suddenly covered the size of her jeans, others’ faces, and any girl’s body she sees in the streets. She’s looking at each of them. No exception. She can’t help it and it hurts so much. This shadow who gives her nausea every time she is full, who makes her notice her rounded cheeks, her big thighs, and the mellowness of her arms. It is trapping her. It is jailed in the flabby body of her worst enemy and broken by the mirror she can’t escape from. It is trapped in this body stabbing her every time she puts on a dress or walk in front of a window. This shadow who makes her hate herself. Lost between the futility of this obsession and the sorrow screaming in her chest, her body stays at this final weight and gives her the feeling the fight will never end. She will never be happy. At every bite, the fear is there or even when she is getting thinner. Time stopped and she wants to stay hidden not wanting anyone to see her like this. She is her worst judge and her unforgiving glare is following her at every second. She is stared at, all the time, at every step.

She is walking fast and she is tearing up. She would like to heal but healing scares her. She wants help but help terrifies her. Because this is not a matter of will: The Shadow is there, wicked, violent and nobody can understand unless they’ve known her. Nobody sees how she controls everything or how every morning and every meal is a war. Facing their worst nightmare thrice a day. Nobody has known this anguish to be left alone in the house or to go to a party because they know she will be here and ready to make them lose control. Again. And that they’ll have to fight again the next day. Fix the crisis. Go through this again. Nobody knows this exhaustion of Anorexia.