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There’s something inside of me, hairy and covered in horns, that wants to get out. It’s mutiny of my body and mind. I don’t know how much longer I can hold it back. That scares me, because the minute it gets through, I fall apart at the seams.
I harbor a monster.
Okay, so not a literal monster, but a foe. An equal that I cannot best. It was no weak spot, as it’s weak spot is me.
My monster is anorexia.
Weight problems run in the family, I guess. My mother and father are both obese. My godmother is bulimic. My cousin just got gastric bypass surgery. Worst of all, my twin brother weighs less than me and likes to point it out every chance he can get. It’s not hard to become insecure.
Insecurity is where the monster is born.
Somehow, I used to like the monster. He helped me lose twenty pounds in three weeks. I’d have days when I would eat little more than an apple and drink water. My stomach would growl at night and it gave me a sense of pride. In fact, the more it growled, the better I felt.
Then, the monster became a parasite. He sucked at my conscious, telling me that I was ugly and fat, that I would never be loved. I believed him and wasted away on a pointless dream. I came to realize that I was a worthless human being and would never measure up to anyone else. I thought I would be alone forever.
“You’re a disgusting pig,” the monster would whisper into my mind. “Look at that fat stomach. You’ll never be beautiful. Best not eat anything today.”
The anorexia took a toll on my physical health as well as on my mental health. Obviously, I was severely under weight. Dark circles formed under my eyes and I could barely move my limbs. Walking around between classes at school made me very tired. My grades dropped and my parents punished me for it, not realizing the demon ripping me apart in front of their eyes.
One person finally realized my secret, my hideous side, my monster. My twin saw me crying while standing on the scale.
“Eighty-six pounds, Laura? Eighty-six?! I weigh one hundred thirty-one!” Jason exclaimed, disbelievingly. “Shit, Laura. What happened to you?!”
I couldn’t answer him. The monster told me to remain silent.
“What are you doing to yourself? Did you stop eating?! Are you anorexic, Laura?”
“No,” I murmured, shaking uncontrollably. “I’m just on a d-diet…”
“Oh, shut up. Diet? Bullshit. You need help. I’m telling Mom and Dad!”
“No!” I flung my thin, frail body at him and we tumbled to the ground. “You can’t tell them! You’ll ruin it!”
“Ruin it? Look at you!” He got up and dragged me over to the full length mirror in my closet.
The monster was roaring his dislike at Jason, but Jason couldn’t hear him the way I could. It was absolute torture.
“Look at yourself,” Jason demanded. “What do you see?”
I looked. I saw nothing but horror and imperfection. The monster whispered into my mind. “Why do you even bother? Don’t listen to him. I’m the one who’s right.”
“I can’t look, Jason.”
“Look at yourself and then look at me.”
Jason and I used to look alike, except that he was a boy and I was a girl. We were both light brunettes, we both were tall, and we both were athletic.
Now, we looked nothing alike. He looked tan and strong and healthy. I look pale and ill.
The monster told me to run away from here. I tried my hardest to ignore him. “We’re twins,” I told Jason.
“We were twins, Laura.” He grabbed my cold hand, intertwining the fingers. Jason’s hand felt boiling hot and I grimaced. “We’re not the same as we used to be. You’ve changed for the worst.”
“I’m ugly,” I said simply, and the monster nodded his agreement. A tear ran down my cheek and I turned away. I couldn’t stand for Jason to see me cry.
“Look at me, Laura!” He roughly grabbed my shoulder so that I was facing him. I glanced away. “You’ve become a train wreck because of this eating disorder! You need help!”
“No!” I screamed at him. “I can’t! This can’t! Jason! I’m fat! You were always the perfect sibling and I couldn’t measure up to you always!”
Jason’s eyes went as wide as saucepans. “Laura, I’m not perfect. You were always the beautiful child.”
The monster said something to me, but I couldn’t hear. “Beautiful? No…”
“Laura, I was always trying to find ways to be like you. Mom and Dad always liked you more. You got better grades. You were better at soccer. Of course, you’re beautiful.”
And through years of treatment, I became better. The monster was vanquished through a little beacon of hope. Hope known as my brother, Jason and his words, “You’re beautiful.”