i rarely share pictures from my starving days
they sometimes trigger even me

because i remember
i remember standing in the shower
running my fingers through my hair
and seeing it come out in my hands

i remember cutting up protein bars
into 25 calorie pieces
and allowing myself 6 squares a day

i remember standing in the dressing room
as the 00 jeans slid off my body
while i looked in the mirror
and thought
i still have more fat to lose

i remember how cold i always felt
and i remember shaving my arms
when they started to grow fur

i remember working out as the sun rose
chugging gallons of water and diet coke
just to keep the hunger at bay

i remember searching online forums
for the “tricks of the trade”
and feeling like for the first time i belonged
with these other girls
who shared so openly
about how much they had starved themselves that day
and how they “got rid of” what they did eat

i remember purging
till my fingers were bloody
my mouth blistered
and my eyes bloodshot

i ate rotten vegetables to make myself sick
and i would weigh myself 20 – 30 – 40 times a day

some may say that facebook
is not a place to have this conversation –
but i disagree
are we simply supposed to post memes
and friendly updates about our day to day?
well, that is not for me

if anything,
i think we should use the technology at our disposal
to have more conversations
about what we really see going on –
the things that keep us up at night
and touch us to the core

in my work, i see this story every day
you might find it extreme, and it is –
but it is not uncommon
and i guarantee you
that if you know more than a few women
it is affecting someone close to you

so here is what i suggest you do
if this is impacting someone you love:
show your care – consistently
offer a listening ear – privately
be honest about your concerns – kindly
get help

do not offer simple obvious solutions,
meaning, do not say
“if you just ate a little more, everything would be fine”
“you need to stop this, this isn’t good for you”
“just eat something”

and lastly
if you are reading this and this is you
if it feels like i am talking to you
i am

so while i have your attention
let me give you one precious clue
this is what helped me get through
this isn’t about food
it never was
it never is
not for me
not for you

❤️ emily joy rosen

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