Trigger warning: Personal Eating Disorder History
The day after Christmas last year the demand for change was so loud that I finally went out and got my raised reminder.
This is the reminder I needed when I told my kindergarten teacher not buy me ice cream on my birthday because I didn’t deserve it because I’d already eaten oreos that day.
This is the reminder I needed when I was told I was always going to be the chubby kid in class no matter how many sports I tried.
This was the reminder I needed when I chose to go volunteer in the library instead of sitting through another non existent lunch time.
This is the reminder I needed when me and my mother fainted during the school carnival and brushed it off as heat exhaustion.
This is the reminder I needed when I didn’t tell anyone I loved about my mind because my love might of looked tainted instead of unconditional, if I too, needed more love than I knew how to ask for.
This is the reminder I needed when I would have panic attacks in the catwalk over the “Food-waste, Eating-disorder thoughts, Poverty” circle my brain was caught up on.
This is the reminder I needed when I looked at the ones I’ve looked up to and saw all the numbers in their eyes too.
This is the reminder that not only I, but the others around me see and might need.
This is the reminder that I force my mother to trace as I try to find the words to tell her that neither of us are okay.
This is the reminder that one day might remind my beautiful bee of drinking Carmel Tea and crying in the canoeing area of camp and telling the world they matter too and numbers can suck it.
This is a reminder to the girl with the beautiful curly hair that her art will always matter to me no matter if she’s in Idaho or New York.
This is a reminder to the girl who saw me at my worst and felt my wrath and still choose to be the best club president; she’s beautiful from the inside and out and I’ll always watch her perform any day.
This is a reminder to the boy whose heart still fights everyday to find a new way to love himself and the words he creates and that he is worth caring about.
This is a reminder for the one whose journey is one of my biggest inspirations, the one who reminds me that I am more than my disorders worst thoughts, that they will always be my recovery buddy.
This is a reminder to strangers around me whose gaze only fixes upon it for a moment that I am not done fighting for the right to tell my story and have people listen.
This is the reminder that the camper who needs it most will see it every summer and realize that there is at least one person here who gets how hard it is to exist at times in a world that micromanages every morsel of food you come across, and will be there to listen.
This is the reminder that finds a new way to help me everyday.
This is the reminder I look at when I wake up and the world is too loud with my fears and running my fingers over it’s raised lines calms me.
This is the reminder that I hear its meaning when the people around me tell me I couldn’t possibly have an eating disorder and I was making it up; that I am who I am because I have grown from my weaknesses.
This is the reminder I taste when I tell my friends how excited I am for a meal and for once in my life I am telling nothing but the truth, and I usually taste it in the Taco Tuesday tacos too!
This is the reminder I smell when I boil water for tea not because I need some flavor to wash away the taste of hunger, but because I genuinely want a cup of apple and pumpkin flavored leaf water.
This is the reminder I feel whenever I am faced with the thought that I am not capable of handling the body that will lead me to who I will one day be, it reminds me that my body is every bit of what I am becoming.
This is the reminder I have always needed and never thought I deserved.