Benita Loff

Accepting the shame or the morning after the binge the night before

Feeling, not feeling? I don’t know. I’m small like a little bud, tightly folded unto myself. My heart is tight, my throat is tight, I can hardly breathe. I don’t even know what I’m feeling or not feeling. Just don’t let anyone know. Unhappy? Yes, probably. Small. Stuck. Stuck in this shell of not wanting to be. My tears are almost brimming over, there’s some sniffing, but no spilling over. No, don’t let anyone see. Just make it all go away. Stuff that hole with chocolate and big fluffy pastry sweetness, salty chips and oozing sausages on thick white rolls. All eaten secretly. Sssss. (shhh?) Don’t let anybody know. Don’t let them know how bad I am, how undeserving. Hit me, hit me hard. I’m not human, I don’t deserve to live.

Help.

And the miracle happens. I’m told to write. The night passes and the curtain is opened wide. The sun streams in and my eyes are suddenly clear. I can feel the warmth. I feel my heart burst open; I take a deep breath.

‘Yes’, I say, ‘love me. I am fully human. I can stand on full feet.’

I feel the soft earth under me, embracing me. I fling my arms wide.

I say, ‘Thank you.’

I say, ‘I am.’

I say, ‘I can …

love.’

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