She curled into a ball on her bed, wrapping her arms around her legs tightly in an attempt to ease the ache in not only her stomach but also her heart. Things had gotten bad. She remembered a time when this feeling would only occur when accompanied by an entire grave yard of food wrappers littering the floor, but that wasn’t the case anymore.
She groaned again. It hurt so fucking bad. She was queasy, her body’s learned defense to the constant abuse she put it through. She knew what was coming. She knew, almost as if she never had any control over it, she knew that she would be ridding herself of as much of what she had eaten as possible. She had known this would happen as soon as she had taken the first bite.
Slowly she uncurled her body and made her way to the bathroom. She was more than a little disgusted with herself, but like a drug addict, she just needed to get her fix now and nothing else mattered. Once inside the bathroom she locked the door. No one else was home, but she locked it anyway out of habit. Mindlessly she moved to stand before the toilet that was in this moment both her best friend and her most hated enemy.
Shaking she got down on her hands and knees. She knew that she would get more out if she stood, but she just didn’t feel strong enough right now. Taking off her glasses she set them beside her on the floor and stared into the depths of the porcelain bowl in front of her. How had she gotten to this point?
It had been so long since she had had a normal relationship with food that she no longer knew what that even looked like. Food was her comfort and her pain. At first she had only purged after binging. She would eat until she was surrounded by empty food wrappers and her stomach hurt from being so full. If she were alone and completely sure that there was no way she could get caught she would then go and purge. Just once. Just enough so that it didn’t hurt so bad anymore.
But then as time went on, the food became less of a comfort, and the important part was the purging whether or not she had eaten much at all. It had gotten so that she couldn’t eat anything without wanting to throw up. So that if she did eat she would go to the bathroom and vomit five or six times until all that came up was bile. This would happen after every meal, but even so she was still fat, a fact that only increased her need to purge.
This had gone on for five years. It escalated slowly. In the beginning she was always very careful to avoid suspicion. Each time she would tell herself that it was the last time, that she was only doing it because she had screwed up badly again and she needed to fix it. This went on so long that eventually she stopped telling herself that she was going to stop because she knew it was a lie.
She lied to everyone she knew, anything to keep the secret, and yet she became careless about when and where she would purge. She dreamed of the day that someone would catch her and put an end to the madness inside her own mind, but that day never came. People see what they want to see. One person went so far as to ask if she was okay after hearing her vomit relentlessly for half an hour, but she told them she had the flu and they believed her because only skinny people have eating disorders.
It was killing her. Slowly. Perhaps one of the slowest and most painful suicides imaginable. The first part of her to die was her heart. It went numb and stopped to beat, leaving behind a zombie to go about her daily routine. Next went her mind. She felt as though she had cycled down into madness. The dreams that haunted her unconscious brain terrified her and left her clawing and biting at her own skin. The cuts and scars leaving a legacy of their own. Dark circles lined her eyes and her skin took on a papery texture. And yet still no one told her to stop, they were far to happy to swallow whatever lie she was serving up this time.
She felt the familiar jolt in her stomach bring her back to the reality at hand which was currently probing the back of her throat in hopes of bringing about her much needed release. She kept her finger at the back of her throat and panted around it, choking slightly as her throat contracted for the first time, but even so she did not remove her fingers. After another minute of moderate gagging she finally vomited, reveling in the pain of it all. Still she kept her fingers in her throat and felt deep satisfaction when she quickly vomited for a second, third, and fourth time in quick succession.
When she could no longer breath she removed her hand from her mouth and leaned heavily on the toilet, panting. The tears rolled down her cheeks unchecked. The food was gone from her, but so was every vestige of hope that she had been clinging to. The guilt set in as she frantically wiped her hand with toilet paper, spitting to rid herself of the taste. She had failed again and she hated herself for it.
At long last she picked herself up off the floor, washed her hands, and returned to her room. Something had to change. Before she could give it too much thought she picked up her phone and dialed the number for her parents house. Her mother picked up on the third ring.
“Hello?” She said in a fairly cheery voice.
“Mom-” Was the only word she managed to choke out before breaking off with a sob.
“B?” Her mother asked worry coloring her voice. ”B, what’s wrong?”
“I can’t do this anymore, Mom. I can’t lie anymore. I need help.”
“Can’t do what anymore, B?” What can’t you lie about anymore?”
“I’m… I’m bulimic.”
“…” The line was silent.
“Then why aren’t you thin?” Her mother asked in a small voice. Her daughter said nothing, but only sobbed harder; she had feared this kind of response. ”B? I just don’t understand.”
“Bulimics who binge and purge typically don’t loose weight because they consume more calories than they expel.” She told her after she had gotten a control on her crying. ”I’m going to go into treatment, Mom. I can’t do this alone any more.”
“Okay, honey. Your father and I are here if you need anything, okay?”
“Okay, Mom. I’m going to go to bed now. Talk to you later.” She said feeling empty and confused.
“Okay, honey. I love you.” Her mother said in the most loving motherly voice she could muster.
“I love you too.” She responded quietly, her throat constricting with emotion as she hung up the phone and moved back to her bed. Once again she curled up on it and wrapped her arms around her knees. She squeezed her eyes shut as more tears leaked from the corners. After what felt like hours her tears finally dried up and she drifted off into an exhausted sleep. In the morning she would make an appointment with the local help clinic.