Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

What's normal about bulimia

Looking down at what had been my lunch should gross me. Instead I’m relieved. I stand up and wipe my mouth and fingers off, flushing twice making sure it’s gone. I wash my hands off in the sink and rinse my face off, and then fix my hair and makeup. I look at myself in the mirror, while thinking. I’ve done this every day this week. I skip breakfast and try to pay attention in my morning classes, even though my stomach is growling and feels like it may eat itself. Then at lunch I get cheese sticks and whatever else looks good that day. I try eating it slowly, making it last until the underclassmen leave, then I wait anxiously for 15 minutes until the upperclassmen go to class. I set my bag down in class and walk quickly to the bathroom. I walk in and press each stall door open to make sure their all empty, and then I close the door behind me on the last stall. I lean over the toilet and put two fingers down my throat, causing the food I finished eating less than 20 minutes ago, to end up in the toilet. I do it over and over until I’m sure that I’ve gotten up as much as I can. After cleaning myself up and fixing my hair and makeup, I walk back to 7th period. I grab a piece of gum and pop it in my mouth to cover my bad breath, and I take my bottle of water out of my bag, because I know I’ll have a headache in a few minutes. I pull out my ipod and turn on something loud I can relate to, and put my cold hands on my forehead. My frozen hands are good are helpful, but I know my headache won’t go away. I know that it’s my own fault that I have a headache, but that doesn’t stop me. I try and get through the next two classes of the day, until I can get home and do nothing. I always tell myself I’ll ride my bike when I get home, because I definitely need it, having no self-control. But every day I’m so exhausted I can’t find the energy to do anything but lay on my couch.

My mom makes me eat dinner. She thinks I’m getting better, when truthfully I’ve eaten over 25 meals and snacks this week, and I haven’t kept anything down in over a week. So I sit down at the table with my family, trying to ignore the gross chewing sounds coming from my dad, and wishing my mom could get through a meal without complaining and ranting. I always tell myself that I’ll have a couple bites of whatever the meal is and some of the sides with it, but I overeat, having no control near food. Even though I still have a headache from earlier, I slip upstairs to take a shower. Just like lunch I bring up my meal in the shower, and then when I’m finished I turn the stream of water to scalding, yet I still feel frozen, physically and emotionally. When I feel like I’ll fall asleep sitting there, I shakily stand and wash my hair, which I notice isn’t as soft as normal, and I wash myself and notice quite a few bruises on my legs that I don’t remember getting. One is even a nice purple color, yet no memory where it’s from. I brush my teeth vigorously with whitening toothpaste, battling the yellowing from purging, and rinse with whitening mouthwash, feeling it burn my tongue.

I put on my pjs and sit in bed with my book. After a chapter or two I give up. It makes me sad that I can’t focus anymore, I used to be able to read a book for half the night. I turn my light off and turn on my side getting comfortable. I pull 2 blankets over me and wrinkle them up around me, curling up to find a warm spot. I use 2 pillows so my shoulder doesn’t get sore from laying on it, and I put some of the blankets between my knees, so they won’t be pressed against each other and become uncomfortable. I hold my elbows in my hands holding myself around my waist. I can feel my hips digging into the bed too. I lay there with my headache from earlier, and now I’m dizzy too, from purging multiple times, and I feel like I can’t move or stay awake any longer, I’m so tired. I’ll lay there for 3 hours before my eyes will close though. I try to clear my mind, and not think of what I’ll eat for breakfast, either nothing or 4 bowls of cereal that I won’t keep. I try not to think of my weight, and what it’ll be tomorrow morning, hopefully it will still be 94, or better yet lower. I try not to think of lying to my mom, and continuing my horrible habits, even though I know that I could die from this at any moment. Sooner or later, though my body wins and I fall asleep. Sometimes I have a crazy dream or a bad dream, but more often than not I wake up several times. It’s often for no reason that I can figure out, sometimes I have to go to the bathroom from drinking so much water trying to hydrate myself, other times I’m cold. So I wake up feeling more tired, than I did before I fell asleep yesterday, so now I’m past exhausted. I have my alarm set for 6 so I can get up and go for a walk, but I end up pressing the shrill alarms snooze button about 7 times. Even though I feel as if I could sleep for an entire week straight and still not have caught up on sleep, I get out and pick out the jeans and long sleeve shirt, I’ll still have goosebumps under. I lay out 4 socks and a push-up bra, to make me look like I’m not as flat as my 9 year old sister. I straighten my hair, maybe I’ll have part of me that I feel good about today. I put on my foundation, eyeliner, and mascara, trying to cover the circles under my eyes, and bring the blue out more, I miss the way they used to be so bright. Now every time I look at my eyes, they just look dull and empty. I try to tell myself I’m still the same person I used to be, but I can’t be sure. I know I'm not as carefree as I used to be. I used to love the way the sky looked when it was that certain color blue or the way the fall air smelled. I used to love being a child and going to the park to swing, just loving the way the suns rays warmed my face and threw shadows across the sidewalk, the way the trees danced in the wind and the birds sang their happiness, and I loved the way I felt like could touch the sky when I was swinging, how it never felt like falling to me, it felt as if life was holding me.

As soon as my mom leaves for work, I go into my moms bathroom to use her scale. I take off all my clothes, and use the restroom before stepping on the scale, praying that the red number will be lower than it was yesterday. Not that it makes a difference, I’ll still over eat when food is placed in front of me, or I can have it. I return to my clothes upstairs and put them on before I get any colder. I tell myself not to eat breakfast, I’ll be that much stronger for saying no. About once a week I can tell myself that I don’t need to eat breakfast, but usually I lose control 4 hours later at lunch. Most days I go downstairs and eat a bowl of cereal. My favorite is honey bunches of oats with strawberries, 120 calories for ¾ cup, but I forget that when I pour a bowl of it and drown it in milk which I forget the calories in when it begins to turn pink and sugary. That bowl becomes 2, 3, 4… My stomach begins to get bloated and full, and I have to purge. Usually since I’m home alone, I’ll lean over a sink, not even going to the toilet. The sink is so much easier though, it doesn’t get clogged, and my mom won’t think to check the sink for residue of regurgitated food, as she does with my toilet.

I rinse out the sink and then go upstairs to brush my teeth and put on some chapstick, since my lips are dried out again, from dehydration and the constant being sick. I grab a few bottles of water and a diet soda and throw them in my bag, maybe today water and a bubbly soda will confuse my stomach into thinking its full, yet I won’t have consumed any calories. It’s a win-win situation. Or it’ll be like other days and I’ll really begin to crave those cheesesticks, and buy them. And when I see someone else with fries, I’ll want some of my own. And I’ll want cheese! Well since I’m in line, why don’t I get a bag of chips or a granola bar? Then when I’m finished and I’m uncomfortable with the way my stomach feels now. I should have just stuck to the water and diet soda. Or I should have gone to the library, and caught up on my homework that was due a few days ago, but I’ve been too tired and unfocused to do. I’m surprised my mom hasn’t noticed my grades have slipped lately. Not that it would make a difference if she did. She would take my phone, at least then my friends would stop asking me what’s wrong and ask me if I’m okay. I hate lying, but they wouldn’t understand. They just tell me that I’m perfect the way I am, but what kind of person is perfect when they eat like a pig. I can’t explain it anyway. Of course I don’t want to push all my friends away, or my guys. I worry that when a guy breaks up with me, its because I’m too skinny, because I know my bones show here and there, but then I see the new girl and I figure out that I’m not skinny enough. She’s so pretty, I’m sure she never has a problem stopping eating. I’m jealous. Sometimes when I get sad or upset though, I eat, and the cycle is going again.

“It’s normal”, I think.




Join the Discussion


This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

SecretSasha said...
Nov. 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm:
Thank you so much!!!!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
fire_ice4ever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm:

Wow. This is so perfect and heartfelt! If this happened to you, you're a very strong person for putting this up. It's incredibly real and has a rawness to it. I love your little details about the soda or the sink. 

Fight it girl!! You have some talent!! :) 

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback