Calming the Chaos

This is personal essay number 2 from my memoir class.  Again, I’ll let you read it first then give my criticism.

Calming the Chaos

I sit here, on my bed, with a Nook in my hands. Staring. Just staring at the last page. The words “dark and lonely world of an eating disorder” resonating through me. If someone would have said I had an eating disorder before I finished Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi, I would have laughed. Blown it off, as envy or jealousy. But as I sit here, on my bed, staring at that last page, I know it to be true.

My heart starts to beat rapidly, with the occasional palpitation. The hands that are holding onto my Nook become sweaty. The hazel eyes staring at the page begin to glaze over. Thinking is futile, since all that fills my mind is fog as I attempt to come to terms with this new realization. After 10 years of the weight loss yo-yoing, its staring me in the face, page 255, waiting to see what I’ll do next.

Within seconds, I don’t realize it but tears begin to stream down my face. In my own world, where its just me. Me and the book. Off in the distance I hear a voice of concern. Nick, he must have noticed the tears. Unfortunately this is not one of those times where his instantaneous need to make me feel better or smile will help. All I can manage to get out is a meek, “I’m fine… Tomorrow will be my first day without a diet.” There was no conviction in my voice, it wasn’t triumphant, instead all you could hear, was the terror I was feeling deep down.

As the lights go out in the room, my mind is running wild. Its no use, I can’t contain my tears, all of a sudden they erupt. Not in that quiet pretty cry either, that ugly cry where you can’t catch your breath, or help from making pained faces that are all red and splotchy. The cry reserved for only the worst of times. This was one of those times.

Over the next few minutes, Nick tried his best to comfort me. Making a joke to get a chuckle out of me, break the tension. Get me to relax. Although I was calm enough to stop the hysterical waterworks, calmness didn’t even begin to enter my mind. As I wait listening to hear Nick’s shallow breathing, the idea that sleep will elude me tonight becomes real. Thoughts continue to spiral through my head.

What should I do next? Is this really an eating disorder? What will my parents think? What will my friends think? Do I see a therapist? Should I just get a self help book? Will I be able to continue cooking knowing this?

While sitting on the cold brown leather sofa in front of my laptop, at one am, in a black room (aside from the cable box clock) I allow my fingers to do the talking. As I write things I’ve never told people my mind begins to feel the slightest bit of ease. I am shocked with the memories I am able to pull out, things I had purposely forgotten over 10 years go. As the hours go by, I can’t stop writing. Urging myself to get it all out. Glancing over at the clock I see that its just after three am and I am emotionally drained and physically exhausted.

For the first time in years a sense of pride washes over me as I read what I have just written. It doesn’t matter to me what family and friends think, as this is not just raw, but real. I have no idea what recovery will entail, but for now the only thing I can do is sleep.


This was one of the hardest things for me to read aloud.  Reading it to myself was no problem at all.  But to vocalize everything…  I broke down half way through the third paragraph.  Luckily our teacher finished reading it for me.

There was very little criticism in this piece, mostly things people loved.  The descriptive ugly cry that we all know so well.  The questions that ran through my mind, the ones that have gone through everyone’s head at some point.  The epiphany or enlightening moment we have all felt about something.  It seemed as though I was able to connect to everyone through things we all understand.

Again, constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!

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