I have this problem commonly known as an eating disorder, but I like to think of it as my filthy secret. I do not waste myself away drinking; I do not waste myself away smoking; I do not waste myself away injecting. No, I waste away my body creatively.
It is beautiful, the way I look now, skinny and lovely. It is disgusting, my mode of operation, binging and purging. I am bulimic. You would not know it, looking at me, talking to me. I eat moderately, but you are not there 24/7. You do not know my filthy secret.
I eat; oh, do I eat, just not in front of you. My family knows, they watch as I gorge myself, consuming until it aches. And then? What makes me so pretty? It is my lovely, filthy secret life inside a restroom - my hideout, my sanctuary - I puke until my throat is dry, until my stomach burns. It hurts, it hurts so much. Has it ever been worth the anguish?
It does not matter now, I cannot stop; it is my relief, my comfort. Do not take that away from me, my sanity. I know it is bad, I know it is killing me. My throat constantly burns; my teeth are cracking; my stomach cannot hold food. If I am not puking, I am eating. Whenever I am home, I spend some time eating, some time puking, some time dying from exhaustion.
Even sleep does not come much anymore. I am exhausted, but the urge, the pure need, beckons me. I cannot abandon it, I cannot leave it as everything has abandoned me. So I abandon sleep instead. Everyone loves sleep, everyone loves food. No one loves the truth.
It is pathetic, but do not tell me to quit. I cannot handle it. I do not care if I weigh 110 or 220. Just do not take this away from me. What would I be if I were not bulimic? I need to be defined, so simply, so beautifully. Do not take this away from me, not when my mind is so fragile.
Wait for a better day, a day when I am not thinking about the calories, about the effects, about weight. Wait for a better day, perhaps when my mind shuts down. Wait for a better day, but promise me that the better day will not be too late.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.