Warning: the following piece contains content about an eating disorder which may be triggering for some.
Ana is perfect. She looks like me but perfect. She’s 5’4 and her measurements are 32-22-32. Ana has big brown eyes that glow under the sunlight and perfectly clear skin. Ana lives in my head. Her voice sounds like mine but softer and sweeter. I like listening to her. Cora and Mikey are her best friends. Together they bully me and tell me I’m not good enough. Ana tells me my 110 lbs is too heavy. She gives me her glasses so I can see what she sees when I look in the mirror. I now see a monster. I poke at my deformed body and my hideous face. I’ll do whatever it takes to look like Ana. Ana starts by telling me to count my calories. Slowly my limit decreases. 1500 to 1000 to 700. I’m proud when I can consistently do 400. I’m sad when my friends show concern, but she tells me to push them away. Ana explains why I can’t tell them because they’ll only want to copy me. I look at my body in the mirror. I can count my visible bones now. I feel beautiful until I put on Ana’s glasses. I realize I’m uglier than before. She tells me, models look this thin yet they can eat normally, what’s wrong with you? Ana and I start taking ice baths together in the morning. Cora and Mikey help rub my shoulders before I step in and assure me that it’s worth it. I walk into the classroom. Ana, Cora, and Mikey give me a standing ovation when I realize I’m the thinnest one. I weigh myself six times a day. On a certain Wednesday, Ana is not happy with me. She screams at me. I feel bad, she’s worked so hard for me and I have disappointed her. She’s helped me for 60 days and I’m 98 lbs? Cora covers my mouth as Ana cuts into my arm. Mikey tells them to stop, but Ana claims this is the only way. Maybe if I lose blood I’ll lose weight. Mikey continues to shout, so Ana shoves him aside for she is the alpha in the group. I cry into Cora’s arms. She tells me it’s okay and it will all be okay. I hate going to the doctors because they always tell me something’s wrong. Luckily my mother seems to be on my side. She wants home treatment and she denies any illness. Ana, Cora, Mikey, and I agree. Before each appointment, Ana forces me to chug water. Once so much that I threw up. The throw up is clear indicating there was no food in my system. Ana and Cora high five me. Mikey shakes his head but we ignore him. Perhaps he is just jealous. Cora takes me running and to the YMCA to work out. She wakes me up in the middle of the night sometimes to do “500 calorie workouts”. Ana asks her, “is that enough?” so we start doing 2500 calorie workouts in a row. I look in the mirror now. My vision is blurry and I need Ana’s glasses to see. I sob at the sight of myself. Why is this not working? I feel weaker and weaker each day. The world spins so fast when I run and I can barely breathe, but Cora pushes me through. Mikey tries to talk me out of it sometimes. Ana and Cora are no longer friends with him. They tell me he’s a distraction. I spend many nights crying and soon I found myself crying in the day too. “But what about my friends and family, can I talk to them?” I ask Ana. Ana explains that she and Cora are my only real friends. I agree with her, after all, my friends and family have only tried to stop me. Ana tells me she would die for me and I should do the same for her. It’s now June and I’m 87 pounds I find myself at the recovery center. Ana resists. For the first time I fight back. “Look what you’ve done to me. Look where I am!” I tell her. For once she has nothing to say. Eventually Ana takes a pill that leaves her asleep. Cora and Mikey have stayed with me. My vision is beginning to recover, although I still see better with Ana’s glasses. Whenever I eat, I make sure to stay low so I don’t possibly wake Ana up. She tries to get up, but Mikey holds her down. I still have to work out with Cora, but she goes lighter on me now that Ana is no longer in charge. I hate her. I hate perfect Ana. Her full name is Anorexia Nervosa.