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It wouldn't happen to me...
I was a gymnast. Ready to become an Olympian, it wouldn’t happen to me. The age old excuse, but it wasn’t an excuse to me, I truly believed that it wouldn’t be ME. But it was.
It started when I injured my back, then my parents got a divorce, my brother moved away, and one by one, trauma after trauma, I was pushed towards it. I can’t be sure exactly what did it, there are too many factors involved, but I do know that it happened.
At first I thought it was normal, I didn’t like the way the scale looked, so I didn’t have dinner that night. Then when I woke up the next morning, I physically felt skinnier, prettier. So, I didn’t have breakfast, or lunch. I would occasionally snack during the day, monitoring my calories closely. At one point I hoarded wrappers, afraid to throw them away in case I lost track of the amount of calories for that day.
The point when I myself realized there was something wrong came when I thought 160 calories in one day was a lot. My mother being a personal trainer, I knew very well what eating healthy was, so why would I think that 160 calories was even close to being enough let alone too many?
It was because I was sick. I had a disease.
When I hurt my back I couldn’t compete in gymnastics anymore, making it impossible for me to burn as many calories as I thought was necessary, it also slowed my metabolism down. I reasoned this out by not eating as much. Eventually I cut out all snacks, giving up all attempts to be healthy, I knew I had to go big to lose big. I was becoming obsessed, and I knew it, but I loved it so why would I have wanted to stop.
Now, now I am in rehab. I live with 3 other girls in my room, I attend meetings 5 times a day, I visit doctors at least once a week, and they usually take blood.
I had to answer phone calls from friends asking why I haven’t been at school. I had to tell them where I was. At first I told them I was sick, which was true, they just didn’t know how sick. But after two weeks away from school, they demanded more of an answer. I had to tell them I was in rehab. My best friend, my boyfriend. Everyone. No body suspected it. I was always the sensible one, in fact I had been known to help others through eating disorders. I had some friends who blamed themselves even, that one surprised me. It was one phone call in particular that stuck out to me. It was to my best friend in the world, Scott. He had been the first to call, but he was the last one I had told.
“Where have you been Pip? I called you like twenty times.”
“It’s serious Scott.”
“Where are you?”
“I’m in rehab Scott. For an eating disorder. I almost died.”
After I said that, Scott went silent. I had never seen Scott at a loss for words, but he was then. I thought I could almost hear whimpering, but why would SCOTT cry? And then I learned why. He had blamed himself. He didn’t notice he said, he should have noticed.
That day is when I finally realized why I had done this to myself. That day is when I realized why I had been feeling unreasonable resentment to my friends and family. It was because they didn’t know. Nobody noticed. And to me, that translated to nobody caring.
Today, I sit in the white walled rehabilitation center I am living at, no longer angry, no longer resentful. I am in recovery now, and I always will be, but I’m getting better.
My name is Piper Ninnis, and I am anorexic.