I Am My Disorder

I Am My Disorder

I am my disorder.

I am the three extra spoonfuls of peanut butter,

the empty package of Oreos,

the fifty-four steps between my dorm room and the toilet,

which is the only place where I can throw it all up

and stop being me.


I am my disorder,

and my disorder is the only part of me

that is allowed to be imperfect.

When my whole life is dedicated to maintaining perfect grades,

being the perfect friend,

embodying the perfect humanitarian,

I long for justified imperfection

because that is the only evidence

that I am human.


I am my disorder,

but others only see that I am a student at Duke,

here on a full ride,

travelled to all fifty states and seventeen countries,

champion of a marathon,

with a big heart that has room for everyone.

They do not see that this same heart has no room

for me.


I am my disorder,

and why should that change?

Why should I waste my only avenue of imperfection,

and destroy the only evidence to myself and others

that I am human?

I don’t even deserve to change.

The only people who deserve anything

are those I inconvenience

with friendship

and selfish talk of a disorder

that I am far too privileged to have.


I am my disorder,

I am over-indulgence and desperation

sandwiched between slices of anxiety and regret,

a casserole of leftover foods nobody wants to eat.

I am those twenty minutes of uncontrollable bingeing,

fueled by apathy, self-hatred, and guilt,

justified by the notion

that my hard work has earned me the enjoyment of taste

while my shortcomings have earned me the punishment of a stomach ache and regret.


I keep saying that I am my disorder,

but maybe the fact of the matter is…

My disorder is




Photo by Michelle Qiou