by MB

Mania is contemplating bulimia after one cheeseburger (no bun, of course).

Mania is seeing your stomach after you've eaten said cheeseburger. Wondering if the whole world will notice you've become fat, lazy overnight. A slob no different from her former self, from her body 6 years ago in college, so ravaged by the secrecy of the binge/purge cycle around which she organized her life, but about which everyone pretended not to know. How does this body look compared to hers? How much thinner am I now? In those clothes? That mirror? My boobs? Disgusting. My body is all wrong and fucked up. From my first period 17 years ago to now, it's the same body and it's still wrong.

No one asks how much happier I am without her. The question that plagues me most with its un-there-ness. what people don't know about me and what I want them to know. The gold star charts from Doctor Samton (and the second-hand giddiness that comes from knowing (hoping) she cares about me) and the full bellies and the conversations about white rice and low sodium soy sauce and being normal and crying at a turkey sandwich. 

Mania is being 27 years old in your childhood house surrounded by all of your friends and family, drunk on wine and high on Xanax and bulimia - on the impending wedding of your two best friends from college - drowning out the failed attempts to purge yourself out of your body by pretending the toilet isn't working, when really it's your mind that's not working, your mind that's so tired from hours upon hours of work and relationship building and happiness and giddiness and the knowing that you will be alone because of your mania and your disposition to feel. 

Mania is wondering what size you wore then. It's trying on a dress in a size 4 and then a size 6 and then realizing that either way, even in the 4, you're fatter than you've ever wanted to be but know that you have to be this fat, that this fat is your destiny but still thinner than you were when you were in the same place ten years ago, bemoaning the size 8 and 10 with virulent disgust. 

Mania is inundating your body with laxatives and wine (if only you had ipecac) wondering what combination of the drugs - you don't care, because any combination would do - will get this full-ness out of your body, this protrusion out of your stomach. This monster which has invaded you and is out of control. You want her gone, you NEED HER GONE so you try to rid her from you but you don't realize that she is you and you can't rid your body of yourself. 

So then you break down and cry. Drunk and alone and surrounded by everyone you love in one space, you are so loved and yet so incredibly fucking alone. 

So you dream and pray that you still hate your body enough once the sun rises so that you are forced to inflict  punishment on yourself yet again.