January 31, 2011
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She opened her eyes and saw her reflection in the mirror. Then she cried. She was exhausted, she hadn’t eaten in three days and she was still sweaty from the gym. In her mind she knew she was killing herself but she was helpless to stop it.

The next day she was confronted but she told everyone she was fine. And she believed it. And then the following day she fainted.

She woke up in the hospital surrounded by frantic nurses and family, she was groggy yet she felt amazing and then she looked up, an IV was connected to her arm. Crap. The nurse finally noticed she was awake and called the doctor. He sat down bringing her parents with him. He took her hand and delivered the news that failed to shatter her obsession, “Sweetheart, you almost died, if you had been brought in any later you wouldn’t have survived.” She was stoic, an observer while her mother cried silent tears and her father fought back anger. The doctor was still speaking but she felt funny. Then everything went black.

She heard a steady beeping and her throat was dry, her breathing was labored and she heard muffled sobs a few feet away. She turned slowly and caught an IV tube on the bedding. She stifled a groan and opened her eyes. Her mother was moving across the room. “Honey, we’re going to get you some help, I won’t let you do this, I love you.” She nodded.

She was discharged two weeks after what she began to refer to as “the setback” happened. She immediately returned to school and began group therapy which she went to everyday religiously.

Three weeks after her return to the world she had gained back 4 pounds and neglected to mention a word in group. But everyone kept mentioning how proud of her they were so she nodded. In the following two months she became quieter, more reserved and refused to speak in group. She ate all her meals with her mother and wasn’t allowed to leave the table until she digested. She never complained.

As soon as everyone began to relax around her she started buying school lunches, and studying late conveniently missing dinner. She joined choir and left early, promising to pick up breakfast along the way. She joined track and always went to conditioning and practiced until she was fastest on the team. Everyone thought she was better.

She began to lose weight again, but gain muscle. It wasn’t obvious under her winter layers. Her mother beamed at her for her seven months of healthy living. She felt lousy. Deceitful. Fat.

As the winter wore on she continued her charade, but she added night time sit-ups and secret trips to the gym during her lunch period.

When spring came I looked into the mirror. I cried. I was gone.

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lilmartz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm
Wow this is good! I like how you changed the eating disorders from anorexia to some kind of physical fitness thing. It put a nice twist to the story. I think this is very well written and you did a great job! Nice work :)
isayiloveyouu replied...
Feb. 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm
thank you so much!
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