A hollow serenity

by MB

The prompt is simple enough. It is a question I've asked countless others since I've come out of the "eating disorder" closet, talking my way to recovery with friends, acquaintances, and highly trained though often maladroit professionals. It's the blunter counterpart to the stereotypical inquiry put forth to everyone who has either seen a shrink in real life or watched an actor impersonate one on tv. How does that make you feel?

I'll skip the bullshit. It doesn't matter how I feel. Pinpointing the emotion - sad, frustrated, lonely, overwhelmed, anxious - is not the goal of the exercise. Because regardless of the emotion the outcome is the same.

I feel.

I purge.

I purge because I feel.

I purge because I have emotions that I do not want to deal with, that I am unable to deal with. It is the very existence of these emotions - not the intricacies that differentiate one from another - that ignites the bulimic impulse inside of me. 

To some this will seem like a discrepancy not worth making. But to me, the distinction is the difference between a live filled with the perils of authentic love, hate, heartbreak, and saturated content, and a life cut short by an arrhythmia, by electrolyte deficiencies. By death.