The Ugly Truth Behind The Pretty Disease

November 9, 2013

In a world where I had no control. I yearned for a sense of some. I found Ana. I found bulimia. I’ve starved for days, weeks. I break down and eat. I binge. I purge. I taste my dinner twice. Once with my working class family smiling back at me at the kitchen table. The second time as I’m lying on the bathroom floor, covered in a thin layer of sweat and tears, with shaking hands, staring at the contents of my stomach in a toilet bowl soon to be flushed. Just like I flushed away my health, I sacrificed it for control of my body. This illness has given me a sort of discipline that has not made me stronger, but that has made me weak. But Am I pretty now? Am I skinny enough yet? In school, I can’t focus because my distressed brain is too busy telling me to get rid of my delicious lunch. I exit class, doing the shameful walk to the bathroom, yet again I’m with my best friend, the porcelain throne. I have done this so many times that I can now puke what minuscule remnants of food I have in my stomach without even sticking a finger down my throat. My frail body has grown accustom to convulsing. A disgusting combination of blood and bile mocks me, my esophagus is deteriorating. My insides are yelling at me to go eat some food, and keep it down for once. I scratch my head because I’m so bewildered that I let this get so far, but when I look down at my bony fingers a clump of thin hair falls between them. Only then did I notice my weak and broken nails. I shed a tear. These are the side effects of a disease that has eaten me from the inside out. A once healthy girl with caramel skin is now 72 pounds, 72 pounds, 72 pounds, her skin has become a ghostly white color. This is a new girl, named Anorexia. Or maybe it’s the other one, Bulimia. Ignorant people may get them confused but I know them so well in my core, that I could give you a detailed description of how these disorders devoured me, tore me apart piece by piece. As I struggle to walk back down the endless hallway to my classroom, I don’t feel so well. I try to make my weak body, do a sharp left turn to the nurse and even that’s a struggle. I tell her I feel sick, she gives me a sympathetic smile and I lay down on the bed, I have never felt so ill. My eyes flutter open and I see white walls, a sterile smell invades my lungs. A doctor in white outside of the door is talking to my parents with a sorrowful look on his face, I can’t hear what he’s saying but I can read his lips. The doctor proceeds to tell my parents that I have an eating disorder. My parents just look confused, they don’t believe him, they take me home. At the most excruciatingly painful dinner of my existence, I receive torturous glares from my disappointed family; the silence in the room is indestructible, uncomfortable. They watch me eat. Chewing hurts as the enamel on my teeth has grown paperthin, another ugly side effect of the disgusting disease that is supposed to make you pretty. As I swallow, it burns. Just like it does later that night, as the food comes out of my mouth yet again, and again, and again. He barges into the bathroom and I cannot look up at him. He forces me to my feet and screams in my face. These words I will never forget, “You’re selfish, You’re not even sick, you’re only doing this for attention.” I do not respond with more useless words, I pull up my shirt to expose the bones that are protruding from my sides, he can only stare. I catch a glance of myself in the mirror, I do not even recognize who I have become. My pants size is a double 0, which is equivalent to the amount of self-esteem I had left after I saw my reflection in the mirror. Ever since that day I have fought the demons I implanted in my head. I will continue to fight them every day to try and digest the thought of gaining more weight.

The author's comments:
I was inspired to write this peace after being in recovery from two eating disorders. I hope people will realize that eating disorders are a serious topic, and that people struggle with them forever. Also if you know someone struggling, regardless if they want it or not, they need it. Lastly, I want everyone out there who is struggling to know that you will get through it, and be healthy.

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