Image: © “Bobby and Betty, circa 1953” by Patrick Q
TW: This text speaks about compulsive eating disorder. If this subject is sensitive to you, dear reader, maybe skip the reading of this text as it is not a shiny depiction of healthy behaviours.
Emptiness. I am full of it. From the very bottom of my toes to the top of my head. It takes so much place that I could throw up. It is devouring me. A hunger that drives me mental. There is no amount of food I could eat that would fill it. This void is always starving. No drink can quench its thirst. No candy bar, no grilled cheese, no leftovers, nothing can satisfy it.
Although my head wishes so deeply to reject it, my screaming body refuses to. I picture this it as a man, an older man. Not old–old. Old like your best friend’s older brother. The kind of guy that would fuck a minor but would look cool because of it. Not an adult yet, definitely not a child anymore. The kind of person who would make toxic look appealing. Who tells you he loves you when his actions show you the scary opposite. The kind you know will throw you away like trash. The one that makes you stay. Well, that is the man living in my stomach.
Please, dear reader, do not get me wrong, I hate him. As much as I am able to love. I told you. I am mental. Not in a cruel way. I am not the man in my stomach. I am mental in the medical sense. My therapist says I don’t have a classic eating disorder. Whatever this means, it pleases my pick-me girl self. I emotionally overdose and they drive me hungry. They mostly happen after fighting with my mum. We, my therapist and I, think it is due to my cowardice. Sorry, the proper words are: ‘I am unable to express my limits and emotions in front of my mother because she invalidates them’. Despite the fact that paragraphs could be written about my dear mother, this text concerns the man in my stomach. Let us move on.
So, I eat. This abyss inside of me needs to be fed. Not just food by the way. He wants more. He craves for people. He wants more than dicks and pussies. His main desire is love. To love and to be loved. So, I dress up nice, wear cute and sometimes revealing clothes, put make-up on and I fall in love. Over and over again. With anyone really. Over and over again. I do realize it is not genuine, but I am attracted to its rush, like moths are enchanted by light. The man in my stomach craves for emotional over-eating. I feed him all the time and, sometimes, when satiated, he is not that bad. When a boy touches my arm a bit too long or when a girl maintains my gaze, the man in my stomach is happy. He gives me chills. He definitely has a type. I have another. He likes broken people. People with traumas, with something shiny that comes from grief or loss. My personal type is composed of talented and passionate people. Mostly artists. And artists are often broken. Consequently, we agree on the kind of people we fancy. He wants to eat them, and I am confused about what I expect of them. To love them? To be loved by them? I am clueless. You are right, dear reader, it is sad. Like really sad.
My younger self would not be ashamed nor surprised, just disappointed. She was longing for so much more. She had enough dreams to fill thousands of worlds with. She was an artist. An unbroken one still. The kind of artist that you see in children movies. With eyes imbued with curiosity and harmless mischief. She would paint on invisible walls with the imagination that lived in her compassionate heart. All of this to say that, staring at my phone, I feel nothing but the overwhelming presence of emptiness.
As my tears run over themselves on my cheeks, I feel sad about being sad. I am empty. A living void in autopilot. Maybe if I dared to look inside of me, I could find the trace of a fragile butterfly, sleeping in its delicate cocoon. Maybe it will survive this season of nothingness. Maybe not. It is the hope that may or may not live inside of me. But for now, there’s nothing else in me than the man in my stomach. And Hell. His name is probably Chad.