The silence was in no way uncomfortable; most times, it was pleasant, even relaxing. But underneath was a low thrum of pent-up frustration, which I only became aware of every once in a while. There was so much I wanted to tell her — about my high school track meets, the school paper, later my college roommates — and so much I wanted to ask, that I simply could not.
This version of myself looks up and sees my mom’s shoulders heave up and down. I’m looking at my father’s back, and I don’t need to see his face to know that it is tearless, like mine. Only when I read these words does the memory float back to me. I described it as half-grief. Stuck in the wrong places, like sweat.
We played as the sun set and the sky split into pink and yellow, the room awash in gold. We played as the lamps turned on and the rooms around us quieted down to rest. When I went to bed that night, still giddy, I saw the graphics imprinted behind my eyelids, just as vibrant and animated as they’d been on screen.
I’m not alone in this. When I started talking about my recovery journey on Instagram, an astounding number of people reached out to me and told me about their own struggles with food and body image — people who were so gorgeous and kind and wonderful I had no idea they could ever be insecure.