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He says smile, but it feels like I don’t know how to.
All I know is counting and crying and examining imperfections in the bathroom mirror.
I know soreness as my throat and finger fight in an abusive relationship.
I can feel the urge to binge, to let go of now, today, tomorrow, and all that I should have done.
I know the enemy, have looked it in the face, watched the numbers climb, and have experienced defeat.
I know wanting and needing, but never receiving.
I know the search for perfection, an addiction within itself. I know the high of food and the lows of sadness, taste the rawness of guilt seeping down my throat and hunger biting the lining of my heart.
One beat, two, three, until all is silent.
I know being walled in by bricks I put up myself.
I know trying to run from the monster, yet giving up as I realize the monster is within me. The monster is me.
I am surrounded.
I know the feeling of failure and blinding insecurity.
I know looking at reflective surfaces and wanting to die.
I know self hatred.
He says smile, and I tell him I forget how.
His says forget it all, but, try as I might, I can’t leave the monster behind.
He says goodbye and good luck and have a nice life, then leaves.
I am left with my one true friend, the monster.