Take My Breath Away

To bind, or not to bind? That is the question. Right now, that question is always on my mind. Either way, I can’t breathe–it’s just a matter of whether I interpret the word ‘breathe’ literally or figuratively.  It’s sort of a lose-lose situation, really.

If I bind, my breathing is greatly restricted, and my breath is literally ‘taken away.’ My breathing necessarily becomes shallow. I can’t help but notice each breath I take because the binder makes it difficult.

If I don’t bind, while I can actually intake deep breaths, I almost feel as though I can’t breathe. It’s suffocating. Catching a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a window, seeing myself in my peripheral vision–I can’t stand it. I don’t like how I look. I don’t like how it feels.

So, what do I do? Binding is good for my mental health. Binding makes my clothes fit properly; it makes me like what I see when I look in the mirror. But it also hurts, to be perfectly honest. Binders cut into my skin; they make breathing difficult; they are so damnably uncomfortable in the heat of summer. And then when I’m not, it still hurts. My sides hurt. When I take a deep breath, it’s like I can still feel the pressure on my chest, and it aches. All of those, though, are relatively inconsequential problems.

The real problem is that this isn’t going away. The real problem is that I’m terrified that there will be permanent, harmful side affects. There’s a reason, after all, why corsets were a stupid idea. The problem is that it’s only been two weeks. It’s only been two weeks, and it aches when I’m not binding. It’s only been two weeks, and I know that I can’t go back to what I was doing before. If it hurts after two weeks, how much worse will be be after two months? Two years? And yet I can’t stop, not and still be comfortable with how I look.

So where does that leave me? All of a sudden, there are a lot of questions that need answering, and I have a lot less time than I thought I would have. I just know that something needs to change. I can’t go on as I am now for the rest of my life.


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