I was looking through some old journals and I found this. I don’t remember quite when I wrote it. Probably about a year ago.
"There is a sadness that exists inside of me. It feels as though it’s always been there. It creeps in my bed when I turn the lights out, it faces me when I look in the mirror, it stands beside me in the quiet moments of conversation when I have nothing to offer to fill the silence. It’s a deep recess in my chest, or maybe in my stomach. There is no bottom to it, no end. I’ve tried to find the original wound that created it, but the more I look, the more it eludes me. It makes me feel weak and broken. But I have to remember that this is not true. My sadness is a strength that lets me see into the truth of other people. It makes me sensitive. It makes me vulnerable. It makes me write. And that is the most powerful thing I can do - to tame the intangible feelings and force them onto paper. To pull the mask away so that others can connect with what they were unable to explain."
It was a blessing to find this a few days after an article I wrote about my eating disorder was posted. It reminded me why I did it, why it means something, and why I should lean into the vulnerability rather than hide from it.
So don’t tell us to smile. Don’t tell us we should be flattered. Our whole purpose in life is not to be something pretty for you to look at. And if we do put extra effort into our appearances or if we decide that we love our bodies and want to show it off, that doesn’t mean that we want to be touched. Not if we don’t say so. No it doesn’t feel good. No we don’t like it. Our whole purpose in life isn’t to be a fun toy for you to play with whenever you want. Just because you have an opinion of us, it doesn’t mean we want to hear it. It doesn’t mean we have to listen. Our whole purpose in life isn’t to take direction from you. We don’t need your permission, we don’t need your approval, we don’t need your advice. You’re not the curator of our lives so stop treating us like some objects in a museum.