Throwback Thursday. Time to choose a tacky photo to make a thoughtful post about good times from years before
“#tbt to freshman year homecoming miss yah girly”
(Photo provided by Morgan Stabile)
Steady stream of likes flow in, slowing to a trickle as the day goes on.
3 hours after posting, the familiar dink of a notification: “Looking really thin morgan *thumbs up emoji*”
Looking really thin Morgan. Looking really thin Morgan? Commented by some irrelevant asshole I, for some reason, allowed to take me to junior prom. With one word that “friendly” frat boy sent me back to my freshman year body.
#tbt to the feet that broke all the mirrors in the bathroom, the monstrous voices of self ridicule screaming to destroy the distorted reflection.
#tbt to the skin, the red puffy wrists from the snap, snap, snapping of rubber bands in a futile attempt to tame a growling stomach.
#tbt to the hands that opened the pill bottle, slimy leeches of depression sucking out any hope I had left.
#tbt to freshman year homecoming.
There were so many other words he could have used, since he felt so inclined to comment on my appearance.
“Looking really good Morgan”
“Looking really nice Morgan”
“Looking really pretty Morgan.”
Or, he could have just not said anything all. He could have just double tapped my photo and scrolled on absentmindedly as he walked from class to class.
But no, he chose thin.
“Looking really Thin Morgan.”
Thin: the terrible illness that made it impossible to keep down anything, that made me restrict my meals, that made me go hungry.
Thin: the terrorizing trainer that made me work my starved body to the point exhaustion, to the point of collapse, to the point of breaking.
Thin: the tremendous tide that slowly eroded any stone stronghold of self-confidence I had.
Thin: the unobtainable, unhealthy, unrealistic expectation was now on my Instagram.
“Looking really thin Morgan.”
And there I was, waterfalls of salt running endlessly down my cheeks, anger warming my insides.
How could I let myself get so upset over a comment by someone so irrelevant and unimportant to my life? A summer of therapy has taught me better, but the truth is that no matter how far in recovery—six days, six weeks, six months, six years—that four letter word will always remind me of the time I almost ended my life.
Being affected by that word is not a failure on the path of my recovery. If anything, it is a triumph; it’s hearing that word and know that I am so much more.
I am artistic. I am beautiful. I am cute. I am demure. I am elegant. I am feminine. I am graceful. I am humble. I am irreplaceable. I am joyful. I am kind. I am lovable. I am majestic. I am nice, odd, pretty, quirky, radiant, sassy, thoughtful, unashamed, valid, witty.