by Nicole Javorsky
Through the blurry lens of magazine covers and my computer screen, I have seen people recover from eating disorders. Represented with a sauna of text, their stories reverberate in my mind. As the words become dizzying, my thoughts are branded with scorching longing.
Hope crawls toward my bed while I’m sleeping and slithers into my dreams. Once awake, I realize that I am not the Demi Lovato captured on the pages of magazines. In reality, you cannot flatten your life to fit the form of a linear storyline, from struggle to victory. I am not a character in a teen fiction novel. I am a character of depth in a book that I may not want to be a part of.
Vulnerability is often the object of repression and resistance. Vulnerability is accepted as long as it is dead, only alive in the past. Vulnerability is an author’s work that is deemed exceptional after the author is deceased. You’re inspiring, provided that you’re feeling better now and have overcome your challenges.
When I heard that Demi Lovato recently posed nude for Vanity Fair without makeup or retouching, I was amazed and inspired. An ultimate act of vulnerability. Somehow though, it has raised a wistful and visceral feeling within me. Perhaps, I yearn to push the recognition of my eating disorder into the present. Maybe, Demi Lovato’s courageous action challenges my concept of what it means to be vulnerable.
Can recovery intersect with vulnerability? Even if I continue to struggle, do I have the capacity to inspire others? Can vulnerability be accepted while still alive?
My vulnerability sits in a cardboard box under the bed in my dorm room. I do not know where to find my linear story. I don’t think it exists. I am a child trying to connect the dots of recovery with a quivering hand.
This is my Vanity Fair spread. No filter, retouching, or makeup for my words. These are my naked thoughts posing on the barren page.
Artwork by Nicole Javorsky.
Nicole Javorsky is a staff writer at The Nine Ways of Knowing Blog.