Hi. I hope you’re doing well. I guess “well” is the wrong word… I hope you’re okay. I really do.
It’s easy to remember the good things- biking to tennis camp together, sneaking out at sleepovers to buy junk food, and crushing on your older brother’s friends. You were there for me through the bullies, and I stayed when you told me about why you would never trust your dad again.
You told me about how it all began, about the strange boy asking you to the dance in seventh grade. You said that moment ruined your life because you decided you never wanted to make yourself look desirable again. You wore baggy clothes, no makeup, and only wanted to blend in. You gained weight and you didn’t care for a while. Until you did.
Your weight was measurable, but your self-hatred wasn’t. You were so angry that you let yourself go. You started restricting, and then you put scissors to your wrist for the first time.
I always knew where you were when you didn’t show up to the class we had together our junior year. I could see you sleeping in your bed with every article of clothing you owned scattered around you from trying to make yourself look what you considered acceptable that morning, and finally settling on sweatpants and another pile of schoolwork you would miss.
Leaving for college scared me. When I’m walking to class, I can’t help but wonder what horrific thing your parents screamed at you the night before. On the weekends, I’m hoping every moment that you haven’t taken too many pills again in between sobs, struggling for breath, hoping that you wouldn’t ever open your eyes again.
I remember that time I picked up Starbucks for the both of us before I went over to your house. Skinny salted mochas, only 100 calories, in the middle of winter, what I thought was a simple and thoughtful surprise.
Do you remember that? You drank half of it and then became enveloped in a full blown panic attack, unable to calm down until you locked yourself in the bathroom across the hall with the only weapon you’ll ever need: your fingers.
I waited outside with your brother in tears, fumbling with the lock, repeating to him over and over that I didn’t mean for this to happen, with your choking coughs interrupting me in the background.
You cancelled so many plans over the years, with layers upon layers of clothes littered all over, making your bedroom floor disappear. They covered new and old vomit stains because sometimes you are too exhausted to get yourself to the bathroom, your tired face stained with mascara tears.
“I’m too fat. I can’t wear these clothes. I can’t go anywhere.”
I brought you to the hospital for your third attempt at recovery, encouraging words flowing, and hoping that it would be different this time. I missed you so much while you were in there, I was without my best friend and the person I felt closest with in the world. I visited when I could, and we laughed the entire time until we forgot where we were.
I felt helpless. I am not a therapist or a doctor, but I wanted to make you feel better. There was nothing I could do but sit and watch you kill yourself slowly, feeling completely guilty for even considering asking for help from professionals.
Then there was the time you finally got back from the emergency room after purging until you passed out on the bathroom floor. We were in your room when I noticed the red stains on your carpet, and you admitted to me you started throwing up blood. My heart stopped, and that was when I knew that I might not have that much time left with you.
There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for you. I would give away everything I have to make you healthy. You know I’ll always care for you and support your recovery for as long as I live. Stay strong for me, girl. This world cannot lose a soul as beautiful as yours.
I love you.