***TW: This essay contains triggers for eating disorders. Please practice self care.***
I threw up my lunch today. It wasn’t as glamorous as it looks in the movies.
Where her face is pretty and her eyes are dry and she is thin.
Me, well, I was as unglamorous, as unpretty, as unthin, as could be. My eyes were as red as my face and swollen—I had broken the capillaries on my eyelids. Which, I didn’t know could happen, but it did, and so I couldn’t move my gaze too quickly. I couldn’t look too quickly at my reflection, at myself. The pressure behind my eyes, the swollen on my lids—well, it kept my eyes heavy.
Google told me the broken capillaries were from straining my neck and face while vomiting.
I guess it was from the dry heaving. I had to make sure I had vomited every. thing.
I. ate. I guess I’m a teenager again: throwing up my food, and writing angsty poems, and googling ways to throw up, and feeling ugly and fat and not having a good enough body for anybody. I wasn’t sure adult bulimics exist, these days. But maybe they do.
I guess I’m just another diagnosis on WebMD, again. It was anorexia last time; I was a preteen last time, so I guess I’ll try something new.
I’m finding bulimia harder to wear, but I hear it gets easier: the muscles of your stomach learn to contract and expound, the capillaries on your lids become a sheet of color. Your mouth opens and inhales, vomits and closes. Your body learns to house something different: pain. And it hurts, but it hurts more to not throw up, these days.
Vomit covers the toilet in front of me; my nose has grown congested, my head full and my stomach empty. My makeup runs and my face splotches. And I’m very tired.
Even my neck aches when I’m done. And no one told me it would be this hard. And in a couple of hours, I’m hungry again, and I wonder if my eyes can handle more pressure. I wonder if I can count the bruises on my lids. I wonder if my stomach will ever stop feeling as empty I feel. I wonder if throwing up will make me feel better. I wonder if I can consume my feelings and then threw them up as words.
When I throw up, I consume and feel consumed with something: something not as strong as hate, and somehow, I feel better. So I eat, and throw up, again.
Jourden V. Sander is the EIC of feminist zine Feminine Inquiry. She is a writer, editor, tennis player, gamer, and anime geek. She is a feminist and a fan of hot tea. She vaguely dislikes people who won’t use the Oxford comma and finds it difficult to not repetitively use pronouns in a bio. She challenges you to a street race in her Mazda 3. She says hello.