I am enough. It’s a phrase I never quite believe but say to myself a thousand times a day. I am enough. I say it so many times in the hopes that one day I will feel like enough. Enough for everyone else but more importantly enough for myself. To be okay in all that I am and all that I was.
Eating disorders, in whichever way they present themselves, take away all feelings of worthiness. The voice it possesses is enough to bring me to my knees crying my eyes out in front of the mirror. How can a voice no one else hears be so powerful? Something I’ve always wondered since my ED appeared. I was young when mine first came into my life; I’ve not really known a life without it being there in some way. I don’t remember the feeling of not eating without guilt anymore. I don’t remember the feeling of being confident. I don’t remember the feeling of going shopping and not getting exceptionally upset. I don’t remember the feeling of looking in the mirror and being okay with what was staring back at me.
I’m not thin, and I so desperately wish I was, which is of course part of the problem. For some people it’s easy to lose weight, for others it’s not but it doesn’t mean my eating disorder isn’t there, I can promise you it is. I live in a constant cycle of gaining and losing weight but wanting the latter more than anything. I have days where the voice doesn’t consume me and I feel normal, dare I say. The days where I don’t feel like my life’s work is to lose weight, starve myself, binge or count calories. I simply live my life and don’t feel weighed down by it. But for every good day there are twice as many bad days. Some days it’s so subtle, I don’t notice it besides looking in the mirror and hearing the word fat but most days, it’s screaming at me and wherever I go, whatever I do, it’s there.
There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not hearing the negative voice. It can take me over 30 minutes to get dressed simply to go to work or the shops because the voice was telling me how disgusting everything looked. It can take me reapplying my make-up 2-3 times because I started crying in the middle of doing it because the voice was telling me how ugly I was. It can take up to an hour of looking at food before mustering up the courage to eat it because the voice was demanding I leave it alone. Sometimes it means starving myself all day before getting to work and inhaling any food in my sight because I feel like I might pass out. Sometimes it’s stuffing my face from the minute I get up till I go to sleep because it helps- I don’t know how but it helps in the way ice cream mends your broken heart. Sometimes it’s not eating all day until dinnertime and being extremely proud that you only ate 300-400 calories or often times less for the day. Sometimes it’s counting every single calorie consumed versus every single calorie you’ll burn. But it’s exhausting no matter what I do. It takes immense strength (and good acting skils;) to act normal in public, to ignore the voice when I'm around other people and to eat in front of people. Something which I found extremely difficult a few years ago and wouldn't even eat at lunch time anymore because I couldn't bare the thought of being watched (in reality I drew more attention to myself by not eating, but in my head it was better than eating). I still do struggle with that but I act completely normal because I don’t want anyone to see the internal struggle of eating a goddamn piece of toast. It can all sound so small and silly to other people but in my mind it can honestly feel like the end of the world.
Getting this phrase tattooed with the eating disorder recovery symbol is the constant reminder I need. Some people are lucky in life and they know that they’re quite simply enough in some way or another, whether they know it on the surface, deep down or feel it from other people, but they feel it. I do not, I try my hardest to feel it, to really believe it but my mind and my body always convince me otherwise. I need to be reminded constantly that I am enough. I am. I need it repeating over and over again in my mind like a dull melody that I won’t forget. It makes me needy, I am well aware of this but I don’t want this gratification to come from anyone else but myself. I want to tell myself that I am enough and really, truly believe it without anyone else having to tell me I am.
It’s been there 4 days and I feel like it’s already helping, seeing it everyday whenever I need a little boost or just need reminding that I am enough, I look down at my wrist and take a couple deep breathes. It’s more than a tattoo for me, it’s a lifeline when my eating disorder is pounding down on me. Will it always work? No because that’s not how our minds work but it’s there and just knowing that already gives me enough comfort. It took me 2 years to build up the courage to get it done but it was well worth the wait. It's out there for everyone to see and although that scares me, I am becoming much more open of my disorder than I ever have been before. It' there, it has been for 10 years and will likely always be there in some way so I'm not going to keep running away from it like it wants me to. I'm going to run towards it and hopefully recovery will get easier each day because deep down, I know it is truly worth it to be recovered.
Hey there, I'm Jasmine, your average 23 year old working in childcare and living in England. Maybe Tomorrow follows my journey living with mental health issues and multiple chronic health conditions, all whilst trying to have some fun along the way.
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