There are days you will find me in a pretty dress, with makeup on my face, and nice little shoes on my feet. There are days you will find me in a worn out t-shirt that is a little too big on me, old dark jeans, and tennis shoes that constantly get untied. There are days I will have tiger’s eyes as I focus on the lecture, writing down notes neatly and in a well-organized manner. There are days I will look like I could faint any second as if it took every muscle in my body to just stay upright. I promise you, with me, you’ll find both sides of the spectrum within the first few weeks of setting your eyes on me.
There will probably be days where I am the most cheerful little girl, talking to everyone and laughing along the day. There will also be days I will avoid everyone and everything, just trying to get by and survive what I need to get through. And, I’ll tell you this, I don’t mean to be opposite sides of every spectrum you’ve probably known.
If you start talking to me, I will probably tell you how I am feeling and give you a brief on what my body feels like when you ask for it. I will probably tell you when I have to leave class early because I’m not feeling well, and ask you for the notes. You will probably tell me you hope I feel better the first few times, but you’ll get used to seeing me walk through the door a little too early on in the day/night. I will probably tell you because talking about it makes it sound more normal to me, in my chaotic life. But it’s the things I won’t tell you that I will be worried about scaring you with.
I probably won’t tell you about how hard it is to eat some days or how many days my body won’t let me get out of bed. I probably won’t tell you how many times I wake up a night, or how I have to stay up until 3am to get a “good night’s rest”. I most likely won’t tell you how many times I’ve been afraid of fainting during the day. I most likely won’t tell you of how hard it can be for me to simply stand upright. I most likely won’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to fall to my knees out of exhaustion. I most likely won’t tell you how many times I run to the bathroom each day with the feeling that I will throw up my insides. I won’t tell you about waking up at night in complete pain, unable to move a muscle. I won’t tell you how many times I just want to be held, how many times I have wanted to scream.
I probably won’t tell you, and that’s okay. It’s not personal to you, it’s really personal to me. It’s not how you look, how old you are, what ethnicity you are, how good your grades are, or anything else that makes me hold back. It’s the fact that I am tired, that I am vulnerable in that state, that I don’t want another “friend” because they pity me.
Yes, this is who I am. Yes, this has been my life for, not a drastically long amount of time but, long enough that I forget what it feels to be completely okay again. Yes, I have a history. Yes, this is what I live with on the daily. Yes this is “normal” for me. Yes, I have probably visited a doctor’s office or been in a hospital more times than you ever will your entire life. Yes, this is who I am.
But, I do hope that you won’t see me for my sickness. I hope you see the girl who is fighting to keep her own skin intact. I hope you see the girl who is strong enough to do well in school and go to work. I hope you see the girl who is doing so much because that is what she needs to do. I hope you see me when I look at you – the real me, who sees the real you.
The girl you sit next to