I remember the first day I looked in the mirror and said,
“Not good enough.”
I saw the red blotches on my face,
The rolls on my stomach when I sat down,
The bumpy ridges on the backs of my thighs.
I poked and prodded at each imperfection
And vowed to correct them.
I decided being skinny was the imperative.
Because maybe if I lost a few pounds,
I could pass as pretty.
And maybe if I had that gap between my legs,
I would be considered beautiful.
So I went fourteen months without food.
Only water and vegetables passed my lips.
Amazing what zero calorie diets can do.
I became a skeleton,
A 90-pound shell of a human being.
Living weighed more heavily on the scale than my body
And I still couldn’t reconcile my issues in the mirror.
The world became as empty as I was
Because nothing holds much meaning when you’re too focused
On how much space you take up at any given moment.
I was never satisfied.
No matter how far the numbers dropped,
I could never quench my insatiable thirst for perfection.
I convinced myself that I would never be sufficient,
Not because perfection was unattainable,
But because I was a glitch in the system of a beautiful world.
Seven times I tried to correct the error.
Seven times I tried and seven times I failed.
It took three and a half years,
Hundreds of pills,
Millions of tears,
To finally understand
That maybe I wasn’t a mistake.
I began to nourish my body once more
And life took on new meaning.
Each breath was a gift,
Each smile was a privilege,
Each inch around my waist was miraculous story.
Maybe I’m not quite whole;
Some cracks are too big to be refilled,
But this morning when I looked in the mirror,
I grinned bigger than ever and said,