It’s a truth I don’t want to admit to because I was “that girl” for so long and I came so far only to become “that girl” again – Although it does strike me that perhaps I was always “that girl” and had merely fooled myself into believing that recovery was an option. I did try, you see. I tried damn hard. But it just didn’t stick. It’s been fourteen years now of starvation and purging and doing all the disgusting things that girls like me do in secret. We shove our fingers down our throats until our teeth scrape our knuckles raw. We let food rot in thermoses under beds and in drawers and force feed ourselves just to make ourselves vomit. We eat laxatives and go on liquid diets. We smoke cigarettes and drink coffee, not because we want to, but because they’re an appetite suppressant. We starve and we sleep and we set up a series of punishments and rewards – If I make it all day without eating, I can do something nice for myself. If I do eat, however, I lose that opportunity. It’s sick and it’s pathetic and it’s infuriating. I, at equal turns, play the role of the parent and the child – Insolent,  my round faced and youthful self refuses to eat as the elder Amber shakes her counterpart with more strength than I actually possess.

“You’re killing yourself.” I say, with the biting restraint that cuts more than a scream. “You’re killing yourself and you know it and you don’t care.”

It’s an old ghost I’ve let back into my life, and I welcome it as a close friend. Bulimia and I, we embrace with thin limbs wrapped around one another, feeling our spines protrude slightly more each day and it feels like victory.

You see? I don’t fail at everything I try!  I can succeed at something! I mean, it’s only been two months, really, and I’ve already lost about fifteen pounds and I’ve gotten so good at restricting. I remember to count my calories and I’ve cut out everything bad and I don’t eat meals larger than my fist. It’s all the old practices that I adopted like religion before and I’m doing it. I’m doing good! I’m making you proud!

It occurs to me, as I think these thoughts, how disgusting it is, how disgusting I am.

I know all the reasons behind it, of course. I’ve read the books and gone to the doctors and I understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. That, however, doesn’t make it right. Knowing the psychology of killing yourself doesn’t make the suicide justifiable. That sense of guilt only makes me more ashamed of myself, though. And that shame? It only makes it all worse.

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