Inspirational Sad Teens & Young Adult

Trigger warning: topic based around eating disorders, disorder eating and mental health struggles. Please do not read if this will distress you.

You buried me. The girl, covered in flour, spinning in the kitchen and grinning ear to ear. The girl who would enjoy cake at a friend’s birthday party. The girl curled up in the sun, reading a book with not a care. The girl who would laugh and chat animatedly and energetically with her friends. The girl who didn’t feel freezing 24/7. The girl who wouldn’t count and monitor every single thing she ate or did. The girl who went for a bike ride because it was fun. Not to burn more calories. The girl who would smile. Who would laugh, and love and eat.

That girl, she disappeared. Pulled into the grasps of your shadow and hurtling down and out of control. The damage that you did. The torrent of negative thoughts you whispered in my ear.

You’re not good enough. Smart enough. Small enough. Pretty enough. Skinny enough. Fit enough. You look fat. You weigh too much. Nobody wants you. Too chubby. Too tall. Too fat. Not enough.

The whispers had always been there. But never so strong, nor for so long. The constant urge to exercise more more more and eat less less less. The control was oddly calming and the results addictive. You urged me on, whispering in my ear.

Another few kilos. When you get abs, you’ll be happy. Everyone will like you. They’ll want you. Why not go for another run, do another HIIT circuit? You’re hungry, just drink some more water.

At the start, I thought being friends with you would help me get healthier. Fitter. Stronger. We tried keto, paleo, IFFYM, calorie counting, vegan, raw vegan; we tried them all. More vegetables, more fruit, how could this not be healthy? No bread, no sauce, no sugar. No dinner, salad for lunch and maybe an apple for breakfast. If you earn it, that is.

You helped me plan my days around getting in as many workouts, and wiggling my way out of any opportunities to eat. You convinced me this was healthy. Salads = healthy, right? Exercise = healthy. Skinny = healthy. People began to compliment us. Admiring our determination to get out and run, no matter the weather. Of how clean we ate, and how much better we looked. 

You bristled in pleasure and pushed me forwards. Every day began to feel like déjà vu. The walk to and from school felt endless and freezing. I was scared. You told me not to worry. You didn’t like that I was questioning you. Doubting you.

I listened, you felt like my only friend. The only one who truly understood me, and what I needed. We were fit and healthy, they didn’t understand. Didn’t have what it took. The control. To train every day, to not eat junk food, to only eat the set amount of calories allowed.

All the things I did. Running through the waves of dizziness, head upside down, clutching my knees in an effort not to faint. Fighting with my parents. About our choice of foods for lunches, for changing from one diet to a more restrict one, one after another, and storming out of the house to go for another run when anyone questioned you. The things you did to me. The constant lying. Lying to my friends, my family, my teachers, to myself.

I ate earlier. I’m not hungry. Oh, I have a snack for later. I forgot to pack lunch. I’m too tired for dinner. I already ate. I don’t eat that, sorry. I have to go for a run.

I was going down, grasped in your strong grip. Lifeless, a shell, a skeleton layered in jackets, trying to hide into the sharp lines of my fading body.

The promise you made turned vicious. I questioned you. Asking what we were doing. Was it almost the end? The end of these never-ending goals. What had you done to me? I wrestled for control, and you stomped on my feet. 

You grew enraged when people began to pull me aside. Teachers ringing the landline, asking if we were alright. You told me to zip it. I defended our actions to all my friends. I tried, to keep you and the weight on my shoulders inside. I began to realise, that you were going to be my end. 

I wrote a list. Writing down how you made me feel. What you did. How you hurt me. I knew my PE teacher was going to call and explain to my parents, but I had to try beat you to warn them. With shaky hands and dark shadowed eyes, I handed the list over to my dad. Scrawled in messy handwriting, your name headed the top of the paper.

A n o r e x i a N e r v o s a

You screamed inside my head.

What are you doing? Don’t tell them who am I. I have been here for you when no one has. How dare you turn on me? No. Don’t you dare think this is the end.

It was far from the end. That is one thing you were right about it. Just because I’d learned you were dragging me down, didn’t make it any easier to cut ties with you. You had been the stronger one of us for so long. You began to fear me. Your grip was desperate. You pulled me into the darkness again. You yelled at me, for letting them ruin our progress. For messing with the thoughts in my head. You needed to lose that weight. And I, I was empty. My fight was gone and the edge creeped closer and closer. You laughed at me, called me weak, not good enough.

But I wasn’t alone. I had arms all around holding me in the room of my hospital appointments, wiping away my tears, standing by me in the screaming hours we fought over a jam sandwich, making sure I stayed in my bed at night, making sure I ate eating my packed lunch at school when all I wanted to do was scream and hide.

Look what we became. Toxic. Abusive. You pushed me to my edge. All the things I did for you to give me a split second of peace of mind. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I have learnt to fuel my life. On food, and love and hope. From hiking in the Grand Canyon, to going out to dinner with my friends, graduating with a degree in sport and exercise science and nutrition, dancing in the ocean and crushing on your best mates friends. You try to visit now and again, when I am stressed and vulnerable and afraid. I don't let you in, I have many other ways to cope and be brave. Calling a friend, listening to a podcast, eating that ice cream, watching a movie, taking a second and reminding myself why you aren't in my life today. How things are so much better without you. Every. single. day.

I would thank you, but it was me who chose to be brave. Its bittersweet that today I am out here fighting you, and supporting the many who you have dragged down in your wicked wake. You said I was your favourite crime, but you were not mine.

June 20, 2021 07:55

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