Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Age 18

I was 13 years old. I'd been a naturally skinny kid. During my pre-teen years I gained weight. Suddenly it hit me – I wasn't thin anymore. So I went on a diet. By several months later, I had lost 20 lbs on my small-framed, 5' frame. I was throwing up after eating 100-200 calories. I hated myself even more.

I was 120 lbs when this all began. I'd written how I'd "stop" once I hit 102 lbs. Stop the restricting, the purging. I just wanted to be "beautiful."

When I was 14 years old, 5'1, and 85 lbs it still wasn't enough. I wasn't thin yet, wasn't beautiful.

I'll be 19 in a couple weeks. It's been over 5 years. I'm 5'2.5 and fluctuate throughout the 90s. The rational part of my mind knows I'm technically thin. The other part sees only flab and disgust. My body looks horrific. I have scars all over from years of self-injury that started even before the "diet" ever did.

I have restricted to almost nothing. I have thrown up until I see blood and bile. I have taken bottles of cough medicine so that I wouldn't eat and to just feel nothing. I have drunk alcohol and eaten until it was easy to throw up. I have spent days on end drinking energy drinks, having a couple hundred calories and purging everything else. I have eaten several thousand calories in a day. I have spent all of my time thinking of food, weight and how repulsive I am. I have had to repeat my freshman year of high school because I stopped going to school. I have completely dropped out of high school, with only months left in my senior year, because I couldn't deal with it and had missed over half the year. I have cut, burned, given myself a black eye. I have hidden my food issues from everyone for all this time. I have hated how my gag reflex won't work if I purge too much. I have seriously considered suicide.

Yet I still don't feel beautiful. I still don't feel "sick" either. I realize that I technically have an eating disorder. But I still don't feel "good enough" to deserve that label. If I had an eating disorder then I would certainly have lost more weight by now. I would have been forced into treatment. I would be skinny.

People tell me how lucky I am to be thin. Really? Is this lucky? I would give anything to go back and never have started this. But now this is who I am. I won't go into treatment or try to recover. Not until I'm thin. Not until people won't believe me when I say "I'm not hungry" or "this is my natural weight."

I wonder if I saw my current self back when I was 13…What would I think? Would I think I was thin? Would I think it was enough? Would I think it was worth all of this? Would I have stopped? The answer that scares me is a resounding "No" to all of those questions.

When will it be enough? When will I be thin enough? Will I ever get there? I don't know. For now I'll continue to hate myself with every fiber of my being. Continue to restrict, to binge, to purge when I can. Because I can't deal with the answers to any of these questions. I lost myself those years ago and I'm not quite sure how to get myself back.

When I look in the mirror, what do I see? I see a failure. A fat person. Somebody who will never be good enough. Somebody who deserves to die.