I tell the girls of the cast the same thing every year, “I’m surrounded by 30 or so females, but this is the one place that I’m not afraid to change my clothes, goof off, be myself, by proud… Its because of you, ladies… ” They empower me. Most of us are complete strangers, but we end each year making new friends, finding common ground, and growing and being inspired by each other’s strengths.
This year, a few weeks post the conclusion of the show, we got approval to host another event. This time, its OUR story. Any member that wanted to write and perform their OWN story, was welcome to do so. I knew immediately I wanted to participate.
I wanted to share the struggle and the fight of perfectionism. The OCD that overcomes our minds. The hidden pain, anxiety, fear, and self mutilation that is experienced.
234 lbs. That was me 4 years ago.
She’s so pretty. Why can’t I be that pretty? She’s thin, and chesty, does her hair, make up… All the guys like her. God, I long to be in a bikini.
I hate going shopping for clothes. Another party? “ Sammy, how do I look,” she asks… “Wow,” I say, “fantastic.” In my mind, I’m crying. Someone hide me. Can’t I just curl up in a ball? Suck it in, Sam! Why am I always the third wheel? Why doesn’t anyone like me? I’m a nice person…
Enough is enough! I can’t be the fat friend anymore! Run, Sammy Run! You can do it. No cookies, veggies please.
Yes! 5 more pounds gone! “You’ve lost the weight of a third grader, Sam! You need new clothes!” my friends say to me.” Sure! Let’s go shopping! No, I’m not hungry, but thank you.
I can’t sleep, I’m going to the gym. “Sammy, this is your second time going today,” she says “ we think you have a problem. You’re scaring us.” I storm out the door and spend the next two hours pedaling a stationary bike.
130 lbs! I can’t believe it!
Suck it Sam! Yes, I do have ribs! Wait! What is that? How can I still have stomach fat? No! No!
150 calories? I think to myself, for one snack bar? No thank you. How many carbs are in this? No only 30 carbs a day for me!
Run! Damn it, Sam! Run, you fat ass!
Why? Why won’t this fat go away?!?! I wish I could just cut it off! Cut it off… Cut… It cuts so smoothly through my skin. Ahhh. I can breath. Again. Ahhh, yes. I watch the blood drip down.
I’m not eating today. No way. I need to work out.
I’m cooking daddy dinner. I don’t feel well. Oh man… “Dad!” I’m down. On the ground. “How many calories have you eaten today? “He yells to me. “50,” I reply.
Mom watches me sleep, fearing that each shallow breath would be my last.
“Samantha,” my boss say to me, “ You’re late, your weak, you’ve become a hazard to your patients and for the company. You need to resign or we’ll have to terminate you. ” No, not my patient’s. I can’t lose my patients.
12 weeks of FMLA. 12 weeks of crying, cutting, fasting, binging, purging. 12 weeks of no exercise. 12 weeks of denial, realization, bargaining with God, pleading for help, yet unable to actually help myself.
Physically, emotionally, spiritually weak.
I wake up at 3am and write.
From sound asleep, I awaken, Frantic, Nervous, shaken,
My mind racing a mile a minute, Pumping the brakes, but its in it to in it.
Memories of my past mistakes flashing before my eyes, How did I? I could I? How will I survive?
Trembling, ashamed, wanting to cry, This mind fuck is a game, wishing I would die.
Take me home, Heavenly Father, I beg of you, please
I’m down here, screaming, crying, Pleading on my knees
Swallow another handful to numb myself, Oh God, I’m begging you for your help
This blood I bleed, These scars I see
This pain I feel, Shits getting too real
Hearts racing, hearts pounding, All these thoughts, taunting, resounding
Grit my teeth, fists getting tighter, Look out world, ’cause this bitch is a fighter
The good I’ve done, The lives I’ve touched
It must outweigh, This hatred of self
I am my enemy, And you are my Savior
With your many blessing, Oh Lord, My faith should never waiver
I did it once, I can do it twice
Can’t hold me down, I’m still alive
You don’t make me, I make me
And your foolish games, Can only strengthen me
The marks on my body, I wear them with pride
They’re not a sign of weakness, They’re proof I survived
That I thrive, That I strive
To carry on, Head held high
Watching my world around me crumble, You reached out, Lord, grabbed my hand
Pulled me from the rubble, You’re my rock, my hope
The light of my tunnel, The strength getting me through this struggle.
The constant comparison of her to me to her and her and her. No one can see the pain behind the scrubs and the smile. I ride a rollercoaster. Never sure if the day will bring anxiety, if I can bring myself to have dinner with my family and friends, if I can pull myself out of bed in the morning, if I can control a binge, how many pills I will take, how deep the next cut will be…