“I am not my dysmorphia”

When I was younger, people would always say I was pretty and I resembled Audrey Hepburn. But looking at Audrey Hepburn, and then myself, I realized my cheeks were pudgier, my stomach was thicker. Then I would look around, and all I would see was how skinny everyone else was. I still do. Every time I see a reflective surface, it’s an impulse to glance at myself: not in vanity, but in scrutiny. I realized I am fat. The scale shows that my weight is normal, but it’s impossible to believe this when looking in a mirror.

Sometimes I hope that the mirror is really some sort of fun house mirror. But I know, or at least hear people say, that the mirror isn’t what is mistaken. Instead, my eyes, my mind, are to blame. In order to cope with this feeling of obesity, I tried to give up food. I would live off of Tic-Tac breakfasts and 100 calorie lunches. No dinners.

Unfortunately, I love food too much. So I eat as much as I can, and then excuse myself to the bathroom. It was easy once I got the hang of it, really. The first time I successfully purged, there was a sense of pride. Now, I feel less and less human with every purge. I know this flaw, this controlling habit, can never leave me. It will always be a part of me, and I have therefore chosen to accept it. We all have flaws, and mine just happens to be the way I see myself, flawed.