I Am More Than Thin

By , Larkspur, CA
He abused me. My mind was being used for a game, one that didn’t have a winner, but a constant, undeniable loser. And that player was me. I was the loser in a two man game, myself, and with my eating disorder. He was a voice in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough, telling me I was a monstrous thirteen year old girl who people would look at and think, Her thighs are enormous, or Why is she so hideously huge? He tortured every thought that entered my mind, and took over my body, playing with it as if it were a toy. And don’t you dare try and tell me how self conscience I am, or how everyone has distorted body images of themselves, because being scared to sit down for long periods at a time because you’re afraid of not burning calories is not being self conscience. It’s a sickness, and it sure as hell is about as close as I have ever come with death. (Sorry for my language)

In movies, books, or even T.V shows how often have people made casual, yet insensitive comments about Anorexia, Bulimia and Eating Disorders? Far too many times is the answer that I came up with. And every time one of those comments is so inappropriately used in a book, or movie, it makes me, for lack of a better word, mad. It makes me infuriated how people can insult and spit and joke about this illness when they have no idea of the physical and mental pain it puts you through. Anorexia Nervosa kills roughly 50,000 people a year, according to http://weighingthefacts.blogspot.com/2008/03/eating-disorder-statistics.html#ixzz0oL0hLZww. In 1988 there was a reported 68 deaths from Anorexia alone. (http://library.thinkquest.org/27755/FactsandFigs.htm) People forget the severity this illness is. When someone looks at someone suffering from an Eating Disorder they forget about the real pain it causes.

My arms are unattractively hairy. I have a layer of extra hair on my back. People think all that happens from not eating is that you become thin. In my efforts to become what I thought of as pretty, I grew Lanugo, excess hair on your arms and back. When your body begins to shut down, it goes into, “hibernation mode.” As a result of low body temperature, the body grows excess hair to keep itself warm. And so I was freezing from morning to night. Getting undressed was one of the hardest parts of the day because then I would be naked, cold, and vulnerable until I got dressed into oversized pajamas. I would dread going outside into the open air where there are no heaters to keep you safe and warm. Being cold became a natural and painful feeling that over time just got accustomed too. But it hurt, constantly shivering, constantly having blue hands and feet and chattering teeth hurt. And it was exhausting. Very seldom did I feel warm, did I feel as if I was alright. And so my heart kept beating from day to day. As it got slower, and slower, time seemed as if it didn’t exist. And the only thing that got me out of bed was wondering what food would be served today and how I wouldn’t eat it. According to http://www.nzhealth.net.nz/diet/scary.shtml 40% of people suffering from an eating disorder will develop Bulimia as well. Over time if Bulimia worsens some symptoms include tooth decay, swollen cheeks, bloating, dizziness and even acid reflux and ulcers. I knew of the dangers of throwing up which is why I was most afraid of vomiting, but the fear of being fat over ruled it. I was ashamed as well. My first purging episode happened on Christmas Eve. From an early age I vowed bulimia was something I was never going to deal with, and as easy as it was to say that, it was just as easy to slip into the bathroom and slowly flush my life down a toilet. No one was monitoring the bathroom door as they were my intake of food. It became inevitable that if food was consumed it would have to be disposed of somehow, and the only option I had was to throw it up. There were many times my head was down and all that came out were tears. I was isolated behind the bathroom door, begging for my mom to come rescue me, begging not to feel so alone. My eating disorder made it clear that no one was allowed to touch me but him.

They put me in a hospital bed. They came in and served me enormous platters of food. They took away the one true security I thought made me who I was. They took away the power my eating disorder gave me. The doctors told me I was sick. And I didn’t want the facts to be true, but the signs were beeping on the heart monitor in front of me. And at night when the world was quiet, and the last crumb of food was eaten, I was scared. I was scared that tomorrow I wouldn’t recognize the girl in the mirror. Hell, I was scared my eating disorder would leave me. I was afraid I would be nothing more than a fat girl, living a stupid and inconsequential life. I thought losing 15 pounds was normal. I thought weighing 125 pounds at 5”7 was obese and that even at 105 it wasn’t low enough. I defined my existence as being failed, and forever flawed. Even when I was discharged from the hospital a month afterwards there were countless amounts of times I was afraid to get dressed in the morning because the clothes would be touching my body, making me look even bigger. And the fights between my sicknesses didn’t compare to the fights that were argued with my parents. To both of them I am eternally blessed to have them love and care for me every day of my life. For a long time I wouldn’t let my mom make me food, otherwise it was like her, “fattening” me up. I was the only one who could serve myself food, otherwise I felt as if my independence was being taken from me. For a long time I thought I could live off of my independence. Independence was something I felt as if I had control over, and if any dare question my independence it was as if they took apart of me away. For it I was mocked of, I was yelled at, told that I was crazy. I was hurt, and inside I was damaged, without knowing a way I could fix myself that wouldn’t be so hard. And every day I found something new to edit myself upon. Whether it was my thighs, or my personality, every day something wasn’t perfect. So every day I damaged myself. I hurt myself, through the torturous hands of my eating disorder. One day I was hit so hard all I could manage to do was lay on the floor, drowning in a warm puddle of my tears, afraid to even think about what was going on around me. I had been in a fight with my parents and was exiled to my room. My friends were together, making memories, while I was with my enemy, weeping into my cold wooden floor. I was alone. I was embarrassed whenever I couldn’t make plans because I had to go to the doctor every week to get my weight and vitals checked. I was embarrassed because every time I went for a check-up the reminded me of my past, asking if I had again thrown up, or if I had “pushed back” on my parents for eating. For so long I was ashamed of being the girl I am today. Every morning I was apprehensive about how many calories I would be able to burn, and how many ways I could avoid eating. Every single exhausting day I suffered I thought people were judging me, noticing and pointing out all my flaws. Every single sickening day of seventh grade and through the summer of 8th I wasn’t living my life, my eating disorder was. I was no longer a decent, driven teenage girl. I was a puppet in an unmoral play. So don’t you dare think I don’t have feelings. Don’t you dare think I just wanted to be, “skinny.” And don’t you dare judge someone because of the way they dress, or their beautiful curves. About 23% of people in America are dieting according to http://www.nzhealth.net.nz/diet/scary. That is 23% of people are unhappy with how they look. The diet and weight loss industry as made an astonishing $68.7 billion dollars says http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100320104658AAhR6OA. And though you can point fingers and claim it’s the media’s fault, everyone deserves to be human and to make mistakes. Everyone suffering deserves to know they are better than the sickness, they are better than the misery they have been put through. As for me, I am better than eating disorder.
“I celebrate myself, and sing myself
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
_Walt Whitman (1819-1893)





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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

tooteelootee said...
Aug. 24, 2010 at 11:43 pm
i am so impressed with your amazing story i hope you live on to become the person that you want to be.
 
gaby23 replied...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:39 am
your feedback and positivity means so much to me. Thank you!
 
DaddyzUnwantedDolly said...
Aug. 22, 2010 at 1:33 pm
I understand what you went through... I love how you have put this. Please write more similar articles.
 
gaby23 replied...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:40 am
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your feedback, thanks so much!
 
leeleewolf_is_a_duck said...
Aug. 20, 2010 at 7:42 pm
This is very well written. Your fiery personality shone through the entire piece, and you backed everything up with facts. I hope all goes well with 
 
gaby23 replied...
Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:40 am
Thank you so much for your comment. It means a lot!
 
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