Taking Control This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 12, 2012
It’s so hard to go through life when you look in the mirror every day and hate what you see. Violently and passionately hate. For me, this hatred turned into starvation, or self-destruction. I weighed 108 pounds at 5' 2-1/2" when I decided I was desperately fat. That was all I saw when I looked in the mirror. I saw childhood scars. When I was growing up, my father had a drinking problem and deserted us. I guess this was my way of showing all the unsettled pain I was feeling.

In almost all cases of anorexia, there is an underlying reason to propel someone to starve, to commit slow suicide. Essentially, anorexia is suicide, painful in the same way. Anorexia is so powerful; for me, it was all I had. I woke up, and was disgusted with the way I perceived myself. I thought everything made me look fat, so I began skipping breakfast, then lunch. Soon, I ate one small meal a day and became very weak. I did vigorous exercising each day but it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t getting enough attention; nobody was noticing. My cry for attention was being ignored and I still thought of myself as disgusting.

When I reached 100 pounds, I decided to start using laxatives. My stomach was constantly cramped, but in my head it was absolutely necessary. I had to be thin, because once I was thin, everything would be okay. I wouldn’t ever feel unloved or hurt. I would be beautiful and happy.

Happy was something I hadn’t been in a long time. Ever since I started my diet, I had been sad. I was always feeling sick or at least sick of myself. I barely ever saw friends, I exercised all the time instead. I thought my friends were jealous when they commented on my weight so I just disassociated myself with many of them. I was alone a lot so there was no one to tell me not to stick my finger down my throat whenever I ate. Burning my throat almost each day didn’t matter; this stuff, food, was going to make me fat, so it had to be eliminated, any way possible.

I was so far gone that I couldn’t even see myself anymore. If people told me I looked sick, I took it as a compliment. It’s so hard because even when I stopped the actions, the feelings were still there. They always will be; they haunt me almost every day, each time I look in the mirror or hear someone say they are on a diet.

But even now, it’s hard for me to say I had a problem. Because, in my head, I was always too fat to be suffering from anorexia, but that in itself defines the disease. My best friend sat me down one day and told me she wasn’t going to let me kill myself; my mother found my laxatives; my world was crashing down around me, but, really, it had been falling down since I started. I had no control when I thought I had it all. I was so blinded by my perceptions, I couldn’t function. It’s the same with any addiction, it takes over, and your whole life revolves around it. My life was falling apart, shattering all around me. The lies were backfiring and I fainted so often, it was unreal, but nobody wanted to say I had a problem, especially me. My friend got through to me; I stopped the diet pills and laxatives. I was extremely lucky to do it alone, without hospitalization.

I am nowhere near cured. I know that, but I’ve stopped. I now have control. I face a battle every day, at each meal. I still diet, but I am so thankful to be alive. I almost killed myself. At 90 pounds, I almost died because of a diet, a diet taken to an extreme because of my own life, my emotional state, my fears and my thirst for control. They almost got the best of me. But luckily, I fought back, and I think, right now, I’m winning.

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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