Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Numbers That Betrayed Me. This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Shrewsbury, MA
Sitting.

I never thought this would be me--this was the girl I read about in stories while I ate handfuls of goldfish and yet managed to remain slim.
But no, something changed, something in the years of self-loathing and depression changed, snapped, until the numbers had the proof to betray the lies ("I'm Okay").

Numbers: 1250,1500,1800,87,97,63,99,64,66, and lastly: 15.4. Numbers that mean nothing to you, numbers that lead from worry to the actual words, to tears and "I'm sorry".

Because 87 pounds, 63 inches is danger land--too far gone for satisfaction. I knew it wasn't going to last, this passive worrying, ("You should read this book--it talks about her anorexia" "I'm worried about your weight" "Please eat something, skinny girl"), and the words my therapist said gently ("detraction") when she handed me a brochure to an inpatient treatment center for eating disorders. They knew, of course, but I was fearful enough to hope they could overlook the details, until now.

And my fears helped bring me here, the panic attacks, the detachment, the terror in my face when they talked about food--all of it, all of them, betrayed me, and now I'm the one from the story sitting here facing what they're telling me: gain weight. Gain weight, the words that I want to hear that are my worst nightmare, followed by "sometimes the only way to cure it is to force the person to eat" and "you have to add calories". I'm so scared that I feel like my universe is caving in my chest (I even lied, my period is late, it's never this late). They don't even know that I hate being this skinny, that I hate the bones and the fluff on my body and how it hurts to sit and lay down and how cold I am and how I have to prepare everything but if I lose control, something terrible will happen and I won't make it. Every building block in my world will crash down like a tower and bury me in rubble until my bones are the dust that suffocates me so they can't hear me scream. Recovery, recovery.

"I know it's illogical--"

"This is why I'm scared for you--"

"You could die--"

"They hospitalize people for this--"

And all those people who wish they had trouble gaining weight, not losing it? They're wrong, they don't know what it's like to be trapped in this prison and have to fight every demon you've ever faced at once because they have all combined into that word: Anorexia. The scary thing that Always Happens to Someone Else that is happening to me.



Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

FaeNotMyNameThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm
This is fabulously written. It's honest. I wish you luck with gaining weight. I know how hard it can be - from personal experience. In this "prison" the demand to "just eat a bunch of fast food" isn't an option. That's something that people who don't understand say. But it IS possible. And you won't feel as cold, it won't hurt to lie down. The control aspect is very hard, but you need to be able to let others in and help you so you don't... (more »)
 
AandGThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 5 at 5:45 pm
Thank you so much that was lovely <3 thankyou!! I am doing pretty well right now :) I really appreciate this
 
MaybeImCrazyButIThinkILovedYouThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm
This is fantastic!
 
AandGThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 5 at 5:47 pm
thank you!!!!! :)
 
Site Feedback