The lights flashed around me in a rainbow of colors. Music pulsing, bodies shaking, I stood in the midst of my first high school dance. The crowd whooped and hollered as the DJ spun a mesh of Brittany and Beyonce and Eminem and Jay Z. My best friends surrounded me and I could feel the electricity buzzing off of their excited forms.
I noticed nothing however. Not the music, not the dancing, not the lights, nothing. The only thing that filled my mind was how everyone looked in their dresses and how I, no matter how hard I tried, didn’t look as good as that girl, or that girl, or that girl! I stood there, with my arms crossed over my concave stomach in a fleeting attempt to hide the phantom weight that I would’ve bet my life was there. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t dance without seeing black spots envelope my vision. It didn’t matter that I could only wear my hair up to hide the hair that was falling out. All that mattered was that I wasn’t good enough; I wasn’t thin enough; I wasn’t pretty enough.
“Abby, can I interrupt for a second?” My kind eyed therapist interjected.
“Uh, sure Dr. Sullivan,” I said confusedly, unaccustomed to being interrupted during a session.
“Who told you that you weren’t good enough? Who told you that you weren’t thin enough or pretty enough?”
“Well ED did doctor. ED always tells me.”
Dr. Sullivan sighed and I could tell she didn’t like this very much. “I thought you were making progress with him.”
“I was but you know ED. He always has a way of wheedling himself back in.”
I pushed my way through the dripping, sweating throng towards the door. To my left I saw my two best friends, skin tight sequined dresses glinting softly in the night, waiting by their cars for me. Arriving at my house we quickly changed into our pajamas and set up camp in the basement. We looked at each other knowingly and we raced to the kitchen for our midnight pantry raid. Ravenous I decided to celebrate my month of starvation with a cookie. Okay maybe two cookies. Why not the whole bag? How about two whole bags? I stared down at the battle field of rappers and crumbs before me with disgust. “You know what to do.” ED whispered in my ear.