The crushing realization that you are not doing any of this out of loneliness. You have this great epiphany because you are enjoying all of this independence. You are finding yourself wanting to be alone. You want to be alone with your thoughts. You want to write them. Being alone is not a problem.

You are afraid of life.

You are afraid of breathing.

You are afraid of what you might become.

Small things become apparent: You are having a difficult time maintaining your current friendships here because they weren’t founded with honesty. You created this persona of perfection that doesn’t even actually exist in any part of your being. You have never cared enough about politics to hold a conversation with someone that makes you excited. You stop listening halfway through the first sentence and wind up agreeing with whoever is talking about whatever they are talking about because you are not interested. You pretended to, to make your dad proud and to survive in DC. You don’t even associate yourself with the party you are registered to vote under.

You love dancing and singing and music and art. And always say you’re horrible (perhaps, you are) at all of those things and dismiss them from your activities because you are afraid of being judged for being horrible at all of them.

You hate talking about diets and public body-shaming. But your friends make statements all the time (doesn’t everyone) about hating certain body parts and wanting to lose 5 pounds and needing to stop drinking beer. You join in because that’s what everyone does. But you want to say: who the fuck cares? Enjoy your life and eat the burger and the bun. And then one day you say that out loud and everyone looks at you like, really? You are totally guilty of saying those things so many times before, but no one will accept this change. Everyone wants you to keep hating your body and not enjoy the bun because everyone is on varying levels of body-shaming.

One of your friends, while her inhibitions were lowered, said; “She has changed.” And it’s true. This was after the simple act of viewing your phone wallpaper, which says: Do Epic Shit. That’s very ghetto of you, says one of your friends. You fell in love with a mug in a tea shop while out with a group of girls. I would not have chosen that for you, another friend exclaims. Yet another friend jokingly asks if you are anorexic after you try to share that running is akin to religion for you, in the sense that you feel like you have to do it over and over and at great lengths or something doesn’t feel right.

They don’t get it. You wish they did.

You are indeed, very, very alone. But that’s not why you threw up last night.

You threw up because you are petrified that no one will like this person that you are trying to be. The real you. You threw up because you are stressed about life. About your job, your lack of control over almost everything in your life. Your inability to shut off your paralyzing thoughts. Your inability to cope with these things properly. You threw up so you could say: see, I’m still too fucked up to make any positive changes. But that is significantly untrue. You talked to someone. You can change. You can change. You can change. You can accept everything that is happening and still be kind to yourself.

There might be more Day 1’s. There will probably be more day 1’s. Because this is a frightening process to not feel accepted as you truly are, and you’re probably going to keep feeling out of control. But now you know you have the capability of taking steps forward even when it feels like your black-and-white world has turned completely black.

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