My Battle with Anorexiaby Samantha Wyman, Farmington, MEWhen I was five years old, my parents got a divorce. I was so torn up inside that I developed a habit - I ate all the time. I realize now that it was to drown my feelings of abandonment. As I got older, I became very overweight. I never cared until people started to tease me. My peers used to call me "Shamu" and "Fatso" but what really got to me was the earthquake joke. When I walked down the hallway, people used to make booming noises. I felt so humiliated. I began to realize just how overweight I was. Every day is a reminder for me of how cruel people can be. I used to get scared walking to the bus stop, knowing that rocks or snowballs would be aimed my way, and that I would hear fat jokes and name-calling. Every evening I would go home crying, saying to myself, I will show them someday - and I did. All of that pent up frustration and anger blew up in my face and completely destroyed me.When I was a junior in high school, I was determined to the lose the weight I had carried for most of my life, so I began not eating. I can't remember how I got into this pattern because all I could think about was becoming somebody else's idea of perfection. But I saw drastic results. I kept losing and losing. Eventually all my pants were too big. All I knew was that I was proud but, deep down, I was slowly killing myself. I became obsessed with losing weight and no matter how small I was, it was never good enough. I was, and still am, fat in my eyes. Psychologically, I was destroyed; all I could do was think about how fat I was, and every time somebody looked at me, I felt that they were staring at how obese I was.I turned into a walking skeleton, developed a disease called jaundice, and had a serious heart condition because of all the speed I was taking. Eventually, my body decided it had been through enough and I collapsed onto the living room floor. I had won the battle of the bulge, but my new battle with anorexia would last a lifetime. My mother found me, not even able to get up, weak and dying from malnutrition and drug abuse. She rushed me to the hospital where I was diagnosed as anorexic and bulimic. I was immediately transferred into a rehabilitation clinic out of state. My stay was brief (only three weeks). They treated me for my drug problem rather than my eating disorder. I felt cheated of help and felt no one cared, so I acted like I was doing better. I am still struggling for control, but anorexia will be with me forever. c
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.