The Way It Used To Be

I often ask myself, “What was wrong with the way it used to be? Why did I have to do what I did? Why did I feel a burning desire to change when everything was perfectly fine to begin with?” And what bothers me most is that nothing was wrong. I took a life full of laughter and warmth and sheer happiness and morphed it into one of emptiness and hunger and obsession….I used to sprint home from the school bus, excited to tell my mother about my day. I used to play for hours in my backyard, rolling in the amaranthine blades and chasing the black birds. I used to hate going to bed, not wanting to miss a single second of my life. I used to laugh so hard at the dinner table that the water in my mouth would end up giving my mother a second shower. Now, I sprint home from the school bus and isolate myself in my room. Now, the thought of getting fresh air is too much to ask for. Now, sleeping is my favorite part of the day—although, it’s hard to get much these nights with my suffocating regrets refusing to abandon me. Now, a genuine smile is more rare than the fall of summer snow. But now, I am thin. Before, I was only normal. But now, I am better. At least that’s what the voice in my head tells me. It tells me that it was worth giving up the days marked by love and family and elation for a lower number on the scale.

It wasn’t worth it, though. And I wish I could go back and change things before it became too late, but I can’t. I have to learn to accept that the memories I have of hospitalization and of darkness cannot be erased. But I can move forward. I can stop thinking about what life could have been like and actually start moving forward. I can recreate the happiness that faded away during the years I was lost. I can stop accepting that I am lost and actually start looking to find myself again. I can free myself of the unbearable regret, for it was out of my control. I can, and I will. I hope you will too.