There wasn’t much of a choice to be open about it, or to seek help on the matter. I knew though, that the eating disorder I was masking was ironically, eating me away inside.
I was never an obese child, but I was also never a skinny child. “Average” is the word most would describe me, and I hated it. I knew what that meant. It meant I wasn’t fat, but I wasn’t skinny, I was a good amount of chubby to not be put in either category. “Athletic” “Beautiful” “Gorgeous” is the words everyone described my older sister, Kiki. She was always the one who was better at sports, better in school, had more friends, never was in any trouble, had the best grades, and of course, had the best body. “Kiki, you look great!” and then a slightly judging glance at me would then follow-up with a remark like, “Meg, you look like your sister did when she was younger“. Gee, thanks! (insert eye roll). I never felt good enough in my own skin. No matter what my parents would say to cheer me up, I knew what I looked like and I knew how people saw me. I was the second-hand version of my sister. The rip off version. The card board copy of the original. Not as good as the original, but wasn’t “that” bad.
Thought the hurt in my stomach echoed pain throughout the rest of my body, I refused to “bite” into its traps. I would put up with the dizziness and light-headedness as long as it meant I was going to be thin. I just wanted to be beautiful. I wanted to be that girl who other girls would look at and think, “I want a body like hers.” I wanted to be that girl who guys would look at and think, “She’s got the perfect body.” I just wanted to be able to walk down the hall without my thighs clapping together, mocking me of the slice of pizza I ate, or the cookie I had for desert. I just wanted to be skinny. I just wanted to feel something I had never truly felt; I wanted to feel beautiful.
I don’t remember exactly when I decided to start skipping meals. I do know that I tried my best to do it subtly. I never thought it would lead me down a crazy world of extreme dieting and diet pills. I was determined to feel pretty. And I wouldn’t stop until I felt what it was like to be known as being beautiful. I got compliments here and there about my long brown hair, my white teeth, and soon enough my weight. But it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more. I needed to keep losing the weight.
The first time I experienced with diet pills I was 15 and a freshmen in High School. I used the lunch money my dad would give me each morning, to buy diet pills off of a girl in the first floor bathroom before the morning bell would ring. She would sell a mix of different diet pills she got from her mom’s medicine cabinet, or her sister’s room. They differed each day and I didn’t really know the names of them. I just knew that they were diet pills. (Note to anyone reading this: NEVER BUY PILLS OFF OF ANYONE! It is extremely dangerous and you never know what they may actually be giving you.) I was buying the assortment of diet pills for about a month when I ended up on the floor of the girls bathroom during first period one morning at school. I remember texting my friend in class that I wasn’t feeling good. I could feel something wasn’t right and started to panic. I don’t even think I told my teacher where I was going when I staggered out of the class and into the hallway towards the girl’s bathroom. My head felt so cloudy. My stomach was pulsating. I could feel my heart beat throbbing throughout my entire body. My mouth got dry. My face got red and hot. I started feeling clammy and could feel sweat coming through my skin. I went into one of the stalls to throw up. I closed the stall door and went to vomit in the toilet, but didn’t make it, I collapsed.
That was the very first time in my life, I had ever passed out or fainted. It was a complete head rush and I had no control over my body. It was scary. I was only out for a couple of minutes before my friend, the one that I had texted earlier, came into the bathroom looking for me. She helped me down to the nurse’s office and told me to say that I was having a panic attack. I didn’t have to lie. I started having one anyways. Luckily, I had always been the innocent girl in school and at home. So when the nurse was checking me over she never asked if I had taken anything that day or lately. Not that I would’ve told the truth then anyways, but she might have been able to tell I was lying. She called my parents to come pick me up. It was the last time I would ever buy diet pills off of someone ever!
I kept my dieting to a minimum for a few years. I would go on and off with skipping meals. The second someone would notice I hadn’t eaten, I would make it a point to eat something in front of them. I was terrified of anyone finding out how much I loathed my body.
A steady increase of hatred for my body began after my surgery. I was 15 when I had to have scoliosis surgery. I have severe scoliosis and it was effecting the way my body was growing. Surgery was our last resort. I grew 3 inches from the surgery, and now stand at 5 Feet and 3 inches tall! For the rest of my life, I would live with titanium metal imbedded into my spine, and an 18 inch scar down my back to remind me,
I was an alien to my own body.
After the break up between me and “Padriac”, I stopped eating. I was so depressed in the beginning of the break up, I couldn’t eat or sleep. When I started to feel better I decided to continue not eating. This time my eating disorder would last longer, and get more extreme, than it ever had in the past.
When Padriac and I broke up I was weighing around 135 pounds, on a good day. Within 3 months off starving myself and experimenting with diet pills, I was weighing 110 pounds. Finally, I was starting to feel good enough. – But it wasn’t enough for me. At first my goal was 120 – then 115 – then 110! But once I was there I wanted to be skinnier! I wanted to weigh 100 pounds. It was like an addiction. I couldn’t lose enough weight. I had to keep going. It was an itch, that I just had to scratch. Three days a week, I would put the entire small container of mirlax into my water bottle and drink it. Along with 2 laxative tablets with it. Even though I was getting sick from it, I was finally starting to feel skinny!
Ever had a colonoscopy? Yeah they suck! I had to have one done, and during the prep for the colonoscopy it hit me! I realized that I was losing a lot of weight from the prep. I decided to start eating even less, taking more diet pills, and up the dosage of laxatives. As ill as I was feeling, I was finally getting compliments all the time.
- “Wow! Have you lost weight?”
- “You look amazing”
- “You look hot!”
- “I’d kill to have your body!”
Even my mother and my sister were taking notice on my new body, and I was loving every minute of it. Although, every minute was spent in stomach quenching hunger pains, I was happy I was finally being noticed in a positive way! The truth of the matter was; I only felt pretty when I was hungry.
Then the comments started to
- “Are you feeling okay? You look very thin.”
- “What, are you anorexic?”
- “Why don’t you want to eat anything for lunch?”
- “Have you really already eaten?”
- “You look sickly.”
I tried to lie through my responses but I didn’t have the energy to do so. So, I finally spilled to my sister my secret weight loss plan. Needless to say, she wasn’t impressed. She told the one person I had tried to hide it from the hardest. The one person I hate to worry. The one person I hate to disappointment more than anyone. She told my mother I had an eating disorder.
My mother, being the caring and loving woman that she is, filled my head with scary facts about eating disorders and what they do to your organs. She begged me to stop hurting myself. I never thought of it like that before. But, she didn’t understand. I felt so ugly all the time! I already have to live with scars all over my body. I already have to live with my back being the way it is for the rest of my life! I just wanted to be beautiful! I was so angry she couldn’t understand where I was coming from. Then I saw it. The look in her eyes that I had been trying to avoid. She was sad. She was disappointed. She was worried about me. Just that one look in her eyes, and I had to stop.
However, stopping isn’t as easy as we’d like it to be, is it? Every time I would get asked out for a date, or would want to wear a snug outfit, I’d be tempted to reach for my pills and laxatives. I needed to get help. I was ashamed though. I’ve never been one to ask for help. I was afraid of looking weak. So if I was going to get help, I’d do it without anyone knowing it, and that’s just what I did. I did research on the internet, participated in forums of other people going through the same thing, I even got support from hotlines for eating disorders. I still wanted to be thin, so I starting eating better. I even started going to the gym with my sister. She keeps me motivated, and even though she doesn’t know it, she supported me a lot through my struggle to stop my eating disorder.
I struggled with my eating disorder from when I was 15, until I was 20. I spent five years of my life trying to hurt my body to make it look like the photo-shopped girls on the magazines. I wish I could tell my 15-year-old self, not to do those things, not to hurt yourself like that. I’d tell my 15-year-old self to start loving who you are now, instead of when it’s too late and you’re 20 years old and starting from scratch. It’s hard, but it hurts the ones around you when you put yourself down and hurt yourself. I honestly believe if I had more self-confidence and been able to love myself back then, a lot of bad things that happened to me later on, wouldn’t have happened. When you hate yourself the way I did, or in any way at all for that matter, you make stupid choices. You put yourself in places and situations where you don’t belong. How you treat yourself, is how others around you are going to treat you.
To any girls or boys out there struggling to find the good in yourself – Be Strong! Have Faith! Please, just be yourself. Don’t try to be others in the crowd, those people are already preoccupied with their miserable lives. Be your own person and fill your life with positive thoughts and love! I know that sounds cheesy but it breaks my heart that there are people out there feeling the way I once felt. I would do anything to take that pain away from you. Trust me, I would. There is only one person who can take that pain away, and that’s yourself. You need to get rid of the negative thoughts about yourself and embrace the amazing person that’s been waiting to come out and show the world how amazing you are! It’s hard when you can’t seem to find a reason to be who you are, but be your own reason! Your future self would tell you to be yourself, because yourself is a wonderful person!
You are beautiful! You are loved! Never forget that!
To loving yourself,