Anyone who has ever struggled with depression or addiction knows whats it's like to have that voice of oposition in your head. You fight against it every day just to stay sane. It pushes you towards that bottle, or away from your friends, or into the arms of you drug. I refer to this inner nemesis as "My Enemy." She is not a physical being. She is not the demon i always thought she was. She is simply everything in me that is wounded and broken. She is my depression. She is the voice of my past abuse. She is my self hatred, and she will do whatever it takes to keep me here alone.
My Enemy had built entire cities in my mind long before I learned that she was there. She used to run up and down the synapses in my brain, shouting and screaming in a voice just like mine. I thought she was me. I trusted my own voice. For so long time I thought that the things she said were true.
She used to scream at me for eating that extra cookie. She cheered me on every time I cut my wrists, and I secretly hoped I would cut too deep. She had me thoroughly convinced that I was ugly, and stupid, and awkward. She could say anything she wanted and I would eat it up, take it to heart, memorize it…. My Enemy owned me back then.
About a year ago, I was newly married, working two jobs, and trying to fit in in a new city. My enemy capitalized on my stressed body. She grew stronger than ever before. Vividly I remember that chocolate cupcake. I made it myself, with mounds of vanilla butter cream frosting. I had one with my friends, but when they left I couldn’t stop thinking about the last cupcake. My Enemy whispered that Husband would never know who ate it. “You could have it and be done. You know you want to!” But as soon as I took that first bite, her voice grew angry, disgusted, and ferocious. I ate the whole thing in three huge bites, with tears of shame pouring down face. The cupcake churned in my stomach and my Enemy churned in my mind. Before I knew what was happening I was crouching over the toilet, straining, retching, vomiting every last drop out of my stomach.
I sat on the floor outside the bathroom, hugging my knees and staring into the growing darkness. I was scared. I had promised myself I would never do that. I didn’t want to turn out like my aunt, with boney fingers chapped from the back of her throat. My Enemy promised me that it would all be okay. “This is the start of something great for you!” she promised. She showed me pictures of a thinner me. She showed me how easy it would be. No more guilt, no more consequences! The images faded to one my aunt....
...I was 11 years old, at a birthday party. I climbed up on the roof of our house to suprise my cousins who were playing in bedroom. As i crawled along the shingles under the bathroom window, i heard a noise, like someone pouring water in a pool. I peaked in the window and saw my aunt there, doubled over the toilet throwing up. Her shirt was folded neatly on the counter to avoid being splashed. I could see her ribs poking up through her skin. My aunt, strong and beautiful, was here alone on her knees....
That forgotten image came flooding back into my mind. My aunt was not free from guilt. She was chained to that toilet for an hour that day. I knew then that my Enemy was lying. She was bitter, she wanted me to be alone. For the first time, my mind rebelled against her. For the first time, the foundations of her city began to shake.
When Husband came home from work that night I was buried deep in the covers, wide awake. He kissed me held me in his arms. If he could have seen the battleground in my mind, I think it would have frightened him. My Enemy was using all her influence to keep my mouth shut. But something within me knew that it was time to speak. “I threw up tonight” I whispered. And that was the beginning of the end.