Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)
TITLE: Coming Home
By Jessica Schmit
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I recited the ever faithful words I clung to, “One day I’ll change. One day I’ll be perfect.”
With that I climbed out of my bed, crushing the chocolate bar wrappers and left over fast food cartons underneath my feet. Feelings of defeat and hatred choked out the faint feelings of life I clung on to.
“You’re so disgusting.” I angrily thought to myself. Tears filled my eyes and I felt the sting of my hand slap against my pale check. Killing the pain of my tears.
I slinked into the bathroom and locked the door. Going over to the bathroom sink I brushed aside the deep feelings of guilt and shame that stared into my soul in the mirror’s reflection.
“Come on Katie! You only have 15 minutes before your mom comes home.” With hatred fueling my actions I turned on the tap full speed to drown out the sound of the controlling cycle of defeat that I was giving in to. I sunk to my knees at the toilet. Six and a half minutes later the fries, pop and chocolate no longer paraded around in my body. I proudly stood up, flushing away the evidence. I enjoyed the few seconds of control my body awarded me. It was about the only thing I felt I was in control of. I walked over to the sink and practiced my "smile" as I brushed my teeth and washed away any sign of my latest episode.
“I hate you” I whispered to myself. Those words usually helped in killing the feelings of regret that would rise within me after an evening of binging and purging. But even those words didn’t erase the hypocrisy I felt when I walked into church on Sunday, or when I was leading the youth girl’s Bible study. Making my feelings of self hate even more excruciating.
I stumbled back into my room. My body feeling drained and exhausted from the violent attack I had subjected it to. I grabbed a garbage bag and quickly threw the remains of the empty soda cans and greasy containers into the dark plastic bag. Hoping they would stay hidden and not return to haunt me.
I heard the front door slam shut and knew my mom was back from her shopping trip. I grabbed my runners and gym bag and ran out the door announcing I would be back later.
The gym had become my place of refuge, my friend. More than once I allowed tears to accompany me on the treadmill as I reflected on my life.
I put my favorite C.D. in my disc man and started running. Every few seconds looking down at the calorie counter, hoping to spur it on to reach a new record.
The overwhelming feelings of self doubt and hatred had reached a new level in my life.
I ran faster.
Visions of the little, innocent girl I once was, flashed through my mind.
I increased the incline.
I felt a tear slowly slip down my left check.
I clenched my teeth and ran faster.
Clips from the Sunday message ran through my mind.
“What does the pastor know about grace? What’s done is done. You can’t erase the past.” I thought angrily to myself.
I ran faster.
I would give anything to go back in time. Before the pain began to take over and the food, the over exercising and the throwing up became my prescription.
I ran faster.
The pain continued. With each step I tried to stomp away the gnawing hopelessness which was beginning to define me.
I stepped up the incline.
I calculated the amount of calories I consumed hours before and measured it against the calorie counter on the treadmill.
I had quite the run ahead of me.
Beads of sweat climbed down my forehead and landed on the running strip. No matter how long I ran, I never felt satisfied. I still felt so trapped. I missed Him so much. But it was my fault. I was the one who left.
I remember how I used to see His reflection when I looked in the mirror. Seeing His love, hope and peace in my eyes. I hadn’t felt the hope His friendship gave me, for some time.
I stopped the treadmill. It was time to stop running.
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