***Linking up with MamaKat today: 2.) Describe something that comes easy to you.***
It’s the middle of the night and she’s suddenly awake. No reason for it. Except her brain. She can literally feel the demons rising quick as light. She tries to keep them at bay, but it’s no use. They’re here.
You’re fat. You’re huge. You’re gross. You’re unworthy. You’re not good enough. There is something horribly wrong with you. You’re terrible. You’re ugly. What happens if I die and leave her alone? Leave them alone? What if he dies and I’m all alone without my soul? What if they can’ handle the burden of having her as their sister? What if we go broke? What if I hate my job for the rest of my life? Why haven’t you finished writing your book yet? You’re fat. You’re huge. You should work out more. You should eat better. You should do more. And around and around it goes.
She frantically tries to remember the exercises that her therapist has taught her when these demon thoughts attack her. It takes a while but her brain stops that endless cycle and goes back to sleep.
The alarm goes off. She feels her stomach. Ugh. She looks at her arms. Ugh. She looks in the mirror. Turns to the side. Repeats the same routine she’s been doing since she was 11. Front, side, back, side. Suck in, let out. Jiggle here, pinch there. Repeat. It does no good. It’s not rational. She knows it’s not. She knows she should stop. But that 11-year-old girl trapped in her brain won’t let her.
Every time she goes to the bathroom or passes a mirror, she does the same thing. And adds in a look at the tree trunk that is forming between her perfectly manicured eyebrows. Notices the crepe-like skin on her eyes. The tiny wrinkles at the edges of her mouth. The acne scars that run deeper than the surface. She hates her hair, she needs new clothes, she will never eat sugar again, she will run 6 miles tomorrow instead of 5. She will try harder, she will do more, she will be better.
She puts the kids to bed and takes off her clothes. Repeats the same routine only now adds in the guilt of the calories consumed today. She shouldn’t have had that damn vanilla-lime swirled ice cream cone. She shouldn’t have had that vodka tonic. She shouldn’t have had anything today. She should have tried to fit in more minutes of exercise. Starting tomorrow she will add in a short morning workout and another one in the evening. Tomorrow she will not have any sugar or alcohol.
When she fails the next day at all of those things, she feels even worse. The demons rise up even louder. The 11-year-old girl inside chastises her for not being good enough. For not trying hard enough. For being like everyone else instead of the best. Try harder. Do more. Be perfect or else.
She lies in bed with her wonderful, loving husband. When he says something tender and loving and kind, she bursts into tears. She cries because she wants to believe her beloved husband. That she is beautiful, that her body is sexy, that she is worthy of all of the love she has in her life. She cries because she just can’t let herself believe it’s all true. It can’t be true, can it? What will she be if it’s all true? What will happen if she learns to stop and let go of that 11-year-old demon girl?
She falls alseep with the help of her new sleeping meds and a good book. Her last thought as she drifts off to sleep is what she can do better tomorrow.
The demons visit again and again and again.