Thursday, August 6, 2009


I started high school lithe and tall. My peers hardly reconized me on the first day of school. My braces were removed early in summer, and I emerged from our suburban on the first day of school a new person. For the first month of school I was treated like a foreign exchange student. My class mates would talk to me, but most interactions were strained and short. Melissa and I reconnected again after a few months, but our friendship was strange and unfamiliar; as if the few years before of our tight bond was all a dream. I had forged an invisible wall between myself and everyone else, without even knowing it. The new me didn't come without much consequence.
At the beginning of the second semester of 8th grade, I settled in myself I was sick of being labeled as the fat girl. I knew my braces would be coming off over summer vacation, and my dream of starting high school as new person could be realized. I put myself on a diet and began exercising as religiously a nun said her prayers. I had started a snowball down a hill, as the weight melted off, the snowball gained speed. When school let out, I gave up most solid food and lived off of water and health shakes. The monster of despair grew in me, soon anorexia was living breathing entity in my being, that molded to every fiber in me. I became obsessed with thinness. It was giving me all I had craved. My parents worried over my thinning frame, and would often come to chat with me. Even if it was over not eating enough, it was attention I craved. My siblings looked at me with sadness in their eyes and did all they could to talk to me and see to that they watched me, marking every item in a mental checklist of what went into my mouth. My peers were more accepting of me, and I would often get second glances by boys in the halls.
For a while me and my monster thrived off the attention. People where sure to pour compliments on me, hoping that through their words it would give me what I needed to stop my unhealthy obsession. All it did was further stroke my ego, while the monster in me further marred my vision of myself.
By Christmas of my freshman year, the pity and caring had become anger and frustration. My parents no longer sat and talked with me, my brother and sister no longer looked at me with pity, and the glances became stares of disgust in the halls. Everyone grew sick of my frailty, feeling they had failed in their attempts to save me.
I didn't care about the attention anymore, I was too far gone. My monster told me, food was the enemy, Food was poison. Dinner had become a showdown of wills, as no one was allowed to move a muscle until I ate; with most nights taking hours of screaming and crying before I would break down in frustration and eat. My parents quickly learned that this was doing more harm, as they too became enemies and were shut out of my world. They would watch helplessly as I punished myself with exercise for every bite I took. My mother had enough and made me an appointment with my pediatrician. The doctor weighed me, looked me over, and told us, I looked fine. That I was in the healthy weight limits for my age, and she didn't see anything that alarmed her. My mom rebutted her telling her I was sick, so the doctor compromised with a threat, "I'm going to bring you back next week, if you have lost any weight, I'm admitting you to the psyche ward for evaluation". That week I ate most meals, with much guilt, trying to please my parents and the doctor. When it was time to be weighed again, I had gained a pound. "She's fine, its normal for girls her age to feel fat". From then on my parents avoided the subject and acted aloof to me not eating. They told themselves I was just acting normal. I spiraled further.
I grew more and more distant, shutting everyone out who opposed my monster. I became hardened and sad. Trapped in the hell I forged for myself and my monster. In February the monster lost control, and for the first time in months, I saw what I really looked like. I was passing quickly by the mirrors in the girls bathroom, dodging my reflection as I always did, when out of the corner of my eye I saw what looked like a skeleton with skin. I stopped, jealous of the figure searching the large bathroom for the girl, before I realized, that skeleton with skin, was me. I stared eyes open as wide as they could go at my gaunt figure, horrified at what I saw. My eyes were sunken in surrounded by black circles. My hair was thin and stringy, my clothes hanging off my body, as if on a hanger. My cheeks were hollow and pale, my once full, pink lips, now thinned and white. I realized how little control I had over my monster. It was killing me, I looked like death.
After climbing into our families suburban that day, I told my mom I wanted help. My mothers grip on the steering will tightened and her knuckles turned white. "What did you say?", she said, staring at me in me shock.
"I need help.. I don't look well". I stared down at backpack by my feet. My mother with little emotion and replied, "You do look sick. I will make an appointment with a counselor."
There was no more talk about it the rest of the night. My mother called a family friend who was a counselor and made an appointment. I met with him a few times a week, and slowly the monster in me shrunk in size. My monster still growled in my depths stirring up guilt from time to time, but for the most part, it was silent. I still longed for acceptance and love, but finding it in thinness wasn't the way I was going to find it anymore.
I ended my freshman year as an alien in my school. Everyone knew that I had anorexia, rumors of speculation had spread like a wild fire through the school; and just as I was labeled before as the fat girl, I was now the anorexic; even after I got healthy.