*This is Part 2 (of a 3-Part) guest-authored series on Anorexia Nervosa.*
Classmates were the first to pour in with their hypocritical congratulatory messages. “You’ve lost so much of your flab! How did you do it?” “Are you only eating healthy now, like a cow?” “Tell us the secret, bitch.”
I just couldn’t eat as well as I used to.
For a while now, I felt a slight gurgle in my intestines but it didn’t hurt me in a noticeable fashion, now that I had learnt to steady my stride and walk with a sway in my hips. My lips were in an eternal pout, as if a dried fig dipped in red paint was waiting to be eaten.
I’m not a particular fan of geraniums; I prefer marigolds and their luscious flowers. My mother hadn’t used them in this garden because they drank too much water, and needed to be tamed, or would overgrow. She wasn’t used to giving her plants any attention and despised having to care for them. I think she would prefer to have a few cacti someday.
Blouses in XS sizes that looked “cute” at one point were now hiding elbows which stuck out like bamboos. My stomach was plastered to my back. I couldn’t stand up straight and take a deep breath for some reason. My back hurt from being hunched over almost all the time. I hid my balding scalp with the few strands of hair that were still mercifully clinging on. I had to spend a few extra minutes setting them correctly to avoid the stares.
I instructed myself to be silent and stifle all feelings of nervousness when I could not meet the eye of a person who decided to talk to me.
There did come a time when my garden decided to rebel against not being nurtured. Except this rebellion was in wilting away into death. It was a simple equation – you didn’t feed it and it died. It was one of those times when I wished the equation of my emotional eating disorder were so simple.
I wished I starved and withered away into nothingness.