My reflection is my worst enemy.
My strongest weakness.
The reason why I cry myself to sleep every night.
It teases and taunts me every single time I look back at it.
And it has skewed my perception of “my perfect self”.
I’ve let it take over my life and I just can’t make it stop.
Going days without eating absolutely kills me inside.
Hunger pangs so obnoxious that it feels like it’s twisting my stomach in every direction.
Double over in pain trying to make them stop.
All energy escapes from my body like the soul of the deceased, the last gasp of air from the dying.
But I somehow manage to “keep it together” in front of my peers.
My muscles continuously tense up and relax from dehydration like a person with epilepsy.
I can’t even manage to write a note saying, “Help me!”
But I don’t give in to that evil “f” word because I know that I’m a second closer to being as thin as I want to be.
After all of my hard work, I’m forced to eat because of circumstance.
And it feels like it’s ripping and tearing its way into my body as my stomach expands to accommodate the food I just swallowed.
But I just can’t keep it down because it hurts too much.
Tears roll down my face as I run to the toilet and put my index finger into my mouth.
And out comes the orange from the carrots I just ate, with a sour acidic pungency to accompany it.
After a few purges, a light green substance burns its way up my esophagus, causing an unintentional gasping reflex.
My lungs then feel as if they’re melting away as my stomach acid poisons them.
And after a cough too many, the acid turns red.
But, I still keep purging until I am assured that there’s no food left.
Emptiness sets in and is as peaceful as an eye of a hurricane.
Even though it’s temporary, disaster is still eminent.
And again, I still don’t mind because after a storm comes a rainbow.
Weeks later, I walk the plank as I step on the scale, hoping to see the numbers reverse.
As fragile as I am, all energy returns, knowing that I’m finally in the double-digit range.
I then examine every part of my body, keeping myself in line.
My body becomes adjusted to the lack of food, so there’s no more hunger, no more weakness.
My precious hair lets go of its follicles like an autumn leaf off a tree branch, falling in a sort of floaty, graceful way.
A few more follow in its path, but at a much faster rate.
But it’s okay.
Hair grows back, doesn’t it?
At school, my attention span shrinks, never being able to focus on one thing.
My stunning 3.56 GPA plummets to an unusual 3.0.
My merits are stripped like duct tape on wall paint.
It bothers me a bit, but I go on about my business, looking toward something greater.
Even at 87 pounds, I’m still not BFF’s with my reflection, so I keep on with my normal routine.
The cold, frost-like wind whirls all around me.
As I struggle to keep warm, it whispers to me, “Don’t give in.”
I look around only to notice that everyone around me is wearing t-shirts and it’s only 75 degrees.
So even though I’m practically freezing, I take off my coat, jacket, and sweater to blend in with everyone else.
As I lie in bed, I try to find a comfortable position.
One that doesn’t tear my flesh or poke my bones.
Unsuccessful, I just ignore the pain because I’m dying to be thinner.