Sound of a tap running and a young woman is brushing her teeth. The woman knocks on a door and pulls the handle but cannot get out, yells through the door, distraught.
The year of skinny pop and sugar-free Jell-o.
We guzzled Vitamin Water and vodka, toasting to high school, and survival, complimenting each other’s collarbones.
Trying diets we found on the internet.
Menthol cigarettes, eating in front of a mirror, donating blood.
Replacing meals with other practical hobbies like making flower crowns,or fainting.
The young woman turns around and looks at a pile of boxes and walks towards them, looking around at the pile and reading the labels on them.
Wondering why I haven’t had my period in months.
Why breakfast tastes like giving up, or how many more productive ways I could have spent time today, besides Googling the calories in the glue of the US envelope.
The woman picks up a book titled ‘Women and Self-Esteem’ and flips through it.
Watching America’s Next Top Model like the gospel.
Hunching naked over a bathroom scale shrine.Crying into an empty bowl of Cocoa Puffs because I only feel pretty when I’m hungry.
The woman grabs a box and opens it, while taking out the contents, including a mirror, medication, splenda sugar packets.
If you are not recovering, you are dying.
By the time I was 16 I had already experienced being clinically overweight, underweight, and obese.
As a child, fat was the first word people used to describe me, which didn’t offend me until I found out it was supposed to.
The woman grabs her phone and opens it, seeing a message from her father on the screen.
When I lost weight, my dad was so proud he started carrying my before and after photo in his wallet.
So relieved he could stop worrying about me getting diabetes.
Saw a program on the news about the epidemic with obesity, says he is “just so glad to see me finally taking care of myself”.
The woman is writing in her journal, followed by stepping on a scale and looking down to see the number. She puts on make-up.
If you develop an eating disorder when you are already thin to begin with, you go to the hospital.
If you develop an eating disorder when you are not thin to begin with, you are a success story.
So when I evaporated, of course everyone congratulated me on getting healthy. Girls at school who never spoke to me before stopped me in the hallway to ask how I did it, I say “I’m sick” and they say “No, you’re an inspiration.”
The woman is sitting on the floor with a plate that has a splenda packet, a cigarette, and two pills.
How could I not fall in love with my illness?
With becoming the kind of silhouette people are supposed to fall in love with. Why would I ever want to stop being hungry when anorexia was the most interesting thing about me?
There is a box titled ‘Kitchen’ which the woman grabs and begins to open it, seeing three apples. She grabs an apple and takes a bite.
So how lucky it is now, to be boring.
The way not going to the hospital is boring.
The way looking at an apple and seeing only an apple, and not 60 or half an hour of situps is boring.
My story may not be as exciting as it used to, but at least there is nothing left to count.
The calculator in my head finally stopped.
I used to love the feeling of drinking water on an empty stomach, waiting for the coolness to slip all the way down and land in a well.
Not obsessed with being empty, but afraid of being full.
I used to take pride in being able to feel cold in a warm room.
The woman is now able to open the door. She looks behind the room she was in and leaves, closing the door behind her.
Now, I am proud I have stopped seeking revenge on this body.
This was the year of eating when I was hungry without punishing myself.
And I know it sounds ridiculous, but that shit is hard.
When I was little, someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said, “small”.
The woman is not in the scene, and as the dialogue ends the door cracks open a tiny bit.
Director: Abby Thompson
Blythe Baird is an author, spoken word poet, and actress whose work has been featured by The Huffington Post, EverydayFeminism, A-Plus, Write Bloody, Button Poetry, Mic, Bustle, & more. Her poem written about her own experience with an eating diosrder is entitled 'When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny' and was adapted to film by the film's Director, Abby Thompson. Abby is a content creator, filmmaker and storyteller who aims to capture unique and important stories about the human experience.