Tubs and Suds


You know when you drain a bath and that little tornado of water and suds forms as the water is slowly sucked out? That is how I feel. That I am a two-inch human swimming in a bath full of lukewarm water, tired and growing weak, swimming around the porcelain edge of the tub, but finding it too much of a climb to make it out. My miniature self is forced to swim in circles around my own self-depravity. And the more circles I swim, the more apparent it becomes that only escape is allowing myself to be sucked into that tornado of suds.

The tornado is my eating disorder. To go back to it would mean slowly spirally downward into the grimy, dark drain. Every time I restrict, every missed snack, every safe choice brings me closer to that tornado. The current is stronger on that end of the tub and my tired self finds the thought enticing to just allow my body to go limp and be pulled down, down, down. A few more days of this and then what? I am completely sucked into the tornado, unable to get out without help? There is a ladder somewhere on the opposite end of the tub. I haven’t seen it, but the voices outside of the tub, the one’s on the other side of that tall porcelain rim talk of it. I believe it is there because those voices have been patiently waiting for me on the other side, watching me swim around while consistently loosing all sense of direction, and they haven’t left. I haven’t made it to that other side to see if the ladder exists and that the voices haven’t been lying to me. But when I was getting close, I started swimming in circles again. Around and around, contemplating whether I was ready to climb out of this lukewarm tub. It was the circle swimming that pulled me backward. And now here I am in the current of that never-ending tornado of suds and my self-defeating desires are coming back.

The tornado of suds comes to an end eventually. All the water is gone and that porcelain tub is left alone to dry. Am I the tub and not just a component swimming in its waters? Is the eating disorder not just the helpless human fighting the tornado’s current? Zoom out. Zoom out. That is what Lindsay says. I am too close to this picture, only able to see a portion.

I think I am the tub.

A flooded tub whose water supply is going to take a long, long time to empty out.