They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
For a time, it was my only meal of the day.
For a time, it was the only thing keeping me alive.
But eventually, of even that I deprived myself.
I craved the feeling of ice cold water trickling
down to fill an empty stomach with nothing.
Water could do no harm. Once it was digested
it was weightless, only passing through,
cleaning, cleansing, untraceable, invisible.
I was always cold, as I wanted to be,
the warmth uncomfortable, suffocating.
Freezing all my softness, shrinking and
restricting until I was small enough.
But I was never small enough, and
just before it was too late I learned
that I never would be, I never would be
small enough. That was the trick,
the game, and no one ever wins.
Tea with friends was missing out on
conversations because my mind was
overcome with contemplations,
did I deserve a biscuit?
Tea with a drop of milk was twenty already.
You see a harmless treat, I see
no exceptions for a week.
Another hour long walk, run
if you can, and sixty jumping jacks,
one hundred to be sure.
All day everyday, the calculator checklist
in my head would monitor every bite,
every move, even when empty
it was still too full.
Adding and subtracting,
taking more than giving.
Every bite alarm bells, every swallow
death resounding like a canon as in
the hunger games, only this was real.
Breakfast is still my favourite meal of the day,
and that is ok, now that I no longer deprive
myself of the others. The calculator isn’t gone
away completely, it interjects now and then,
but I know now how to tune it out. I know
now, not only what I deserve, but what I need.
I played the game, and discovered that what I
once believed to be a win was not, for the
only prize is death, a losing battle all the way.
But I got out of it ok, and need not admit
defeat, for truth be told I’m better now,
I’ve gained more than what you see.