I Have A Disease... This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I have a disease. A disease that goes on inside my head. My brain tells me that I'm not good enough, that I'm ugly, that I'm fat, that it is bad to eat. I have anorexia.

It started with a diet. Then I would try to lose more weight by exercising. Then my diet would become more and more strict and the exercise more and more vigorous. As part of my diet, I would cut down on food intake and work out more often. As part of my diet, I would not eat on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then I wouldn't eat on Sundays and Wednesdays. Then I just gave up eating. I would use the excuses "Oops! I forgot my lunch," or "I ate a big breakfast," so that my friends wouldn't know.

After school one day when I was flipping TV channels, I came upon a show that made me upset. It was a special talk show on "Teens with Anorexia." This show made me jealous and even more depressed than I already was. All of the girls on the show weighed under 90 pounds and, in my mind, were gorgeous. How could they be so thin and I be so fat? I watched in awe. I cared more about what they weighed compared to me than I did about why they were on the show.

I wanted more than anything to be "skinny" like the other girls. All my friends tried to tell me how thin I was and how good I looked. I thought that they were just trying to be nice. I thought, If they only knew my weight, they would know why I am never happy.

It seemed as if my parents didn't notice I existed. They were so busy with work that I rarely saw them. They never took time from work to be with me. They never knew about the distraught life I was leading. It seemed I could get away with anything. I would not eat for days, and then binge. That was when I was most depressed. I felt that no one thought I was good enough. I was always striving to be the best. But the startling reality was that I was never good enough for myself. Every time I started feeling better about myself, I would see some other girl who was in my mind "prettier and thinner," and get depressed again.

Then it hit me. I got a call that my best friend was in a hospital. Aside from her serious case of anorexia, she had been diagnosed with leukemia. Since she had ignored all off the warning signs and had poor nutrition, she was in a very delicate state. The doctors she only had four to six months to live.

Even that was a gift. I couldn't believe it. My best friend whom I had known since kindergarten was going to die. How could this be? I tried to search for an answer, but couldn't find one. I did major soul searching. Then the light went on. I realized my diet was slowly killing me, and eating away at my soul. It took everything I had. I checked into a clinic for people like me, people with anorexia. I didn't want to end up like my friend.

I had to leave my family and all of my friends. I was allowed one visit every two weeks. But that was only if I was good and ate all my meals. I admit that it was hard at first, but I am more used of the idea of eating three meals a day. I know now that I have a disease - a battle going on in my head, as my doctor says. A battle I am now winning. tf


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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