Subscribe to FII's WhatsApp

Trigger Warning: Self-Harm

Half-naked, she sat facing the mirror at the edge of her rented bed, staring at what seemed like an outsider, but was supposed to be her reflection. At 2 in the morning, there she was again with moist palms, tired lungs, unable to catch a shut-eye after four hours of rolling around in the bed. What happened yesterday must not happen again, she thought. Fixed at the spot, she moved her eyes from her outspread thighs to the mirror. She forced herself to cry—first the sounds, the sobs, followed by the tears, a practice mastered over years of self-pity and induced suffering.

Mumbling things while weeping like a miserable f**k, she snatched her phone away from the claws of the charger. No notifications. Why did her heart sink when there were no notifications? What was she hoping for? Who did she think would message her when she had no one to talk to? No boyfriend, no friends. Throwing her phone towards the side, but hoping it would not tumble down and get hurt, she caught a glimpse of the projectile, reassured that the phone was doing okay, not broken, not damaged, not hurt, not bloodied by the blows it suffered every other day.

Also read: Thoughts On The (Un)Contested Ownership Of My Body

Everything is copacetic, you hear me?”, she said smiling through the tears and the mirror obliged. Finally urging herself to stand up, she moved towards her reflection, slowly to undo the distance between them. Tremulous, her hand approached the surface of the mirror, cleaning the specks of pink lipstick to clearly see her face and her body. The stretch marks covered the sides of her waist, her broad shoulders and her entire back. They did not bother her anymore. Her enlarged pores irked her though, representative of all the work accomplished by the years gone by and all those nights she had not washed her face, not moisturized, not eaten well or not eaten at all.

Her left hand violently grabbed the excess of her belly—the fat covered belly she couldn’t bear to look at, without feeling extraordinarily ashamed and shook it.

Tears greeted her again with barbarity this time, more from the left eye and she welcomed them, accepting them, feeling assuaged with every escaping drop. Her left hand violently grabbed the excess of her belly—the fat covered belly she couldn’t bear to look at, without feeling extraordinarily ashamed and shook it. Then the fat beneath her arms, the soft mass rippling as she deliberately moved them as if trying to take it all in, trying to soothe her eyes with all this glut. Gauging the gravity of her action, she took a breather from all the sobbing, and tried to stop the tears.

What a piece of shit!”, she looked away. Then upwards and in no time, she slapped her right cheek as hard as she could afford to, making her bawl harder, feeling like a burden on this planet. This ritual had been dangerously therapeutic for her, and she would find a home in it every now and then, unmasking herself, letting the pain seep through her cracks, filling them, so that the next morning, she could return to slapping layers of skin-colored paint on her face and adorning this body with wrinkled clothes.

Saturated, she retired for the night, content with the deception of today, and the vision for a thinner tomorrow.

Jaded, she returned to her bed, turning to the 52nd page of The Fall by Camus and thankfully lost herself in the ingenious wisdom of his words. It was time to get some rest and hesitatingly prepare herself for another day. Dragging herself out of the bed and into the bathroom, she emptied her bladder, washed her hands and sauntered back, but right when she was about to enter the room, the familiar pang hit and she turned left, towards the living room and into the kitchen. Peanuts, banana, chocolate, potato crisps, left-over biriyani. The walk of shame was unmitigated.

I will fast tomorrow, water fast.

Also read: Body Neutrality—An Alternative to Body Positivity

Saturated, she retired for the night, content with the deception of today, and the vision for a thinner tomorrow.


Featured Image Source: MN Women

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply