Capable of being touched
I started struggling with an eating disorder when I was 16. I didn’t hang out with friends if food was involved, didn’t try new things, and didn’t live my life in a variety of ways. I took blurbs from the journals I wrote in over the years of ups and downs. They are moments of frustration and anxiety, and moments when I rediscovered my love for food and for myself.
The first time I heard the word tangible - meaning capable of being touched - I was a high school freshman in geometry. The line of tangibility is straight edge definition pinpointed on a circle that eternally chases itself. I sought tangibility by starving myself, in pursuit of a grasp on that delicate line, fearing the spinning anxiety circling my mind. My reality became a growling stomach, a presence ironic with emptiness, but at least it was something measurable. Something tangible. Eventually, tangibility became bony detail. So much of me lost, almost nothing left to touch. Recovery forced divergence from the line, back into the circle of myself. Chasing, spinning, dizzying, so dizzy - I have to throw up. My stomach cannot take this anxiety, I have to throw up. But recovery taught me to love what is tangible in a different way. To love the way my thighs kiss, whose roundness, like their strength, will never go away. I tried to understand how I could be strong. How do I grasp mental strength? No matter how many squeezed eyebrow repetitions, or how much weight I press on my temples, my mental muscles threaten to collapse. Instead I build visible muscle, seeking a connection between what I see, and what I feel. You see, the line of tangibility barely grazes an infinitely small point on the circle. That tiny area of straightness and measurability leaves out so much of what goes on in the circle behind it.