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The Guide to Being Anorexic (a parable)

by Eva Joy Musick

I met Heather, a 13-year-old girl that wanted to become anorexic. Naturally being 17 and having dealt with it in my past I was all too happy to lend her my advice. So this is the story of how I taught a girl to become anorexic.

"Give me a day with her." I told the mother. She was worried sick about her daughter who wanted to become an anorexic. So she agreed to send her daughter with me for just one day. "I hear you want to become anorexic." I said as we drove to my place. "Yeah, so what? Don't try to tell me all the bad things about it and how it will kill me and...." "Oh no you got me all wrong. I'm here to welcome you into the club!" She looked at me shocked and overwhelmed. "What are you talking about?" "I said I'm here to welcome you to the club. I was anorexic once. Now I just recruit new girls." She seemed amazed and stunned. 

When we got to my place I gave her a pen and paper. "Now write down everything you enjoy and love in life." She looked at me blankly. "Go ahead." She did as I told her. While she was writing the phone rang. It was Shawna. She and Nikki were going out for pizza and wanted to know if I would come. I told them about Heather and that I wanted her to come too. They said fine and so I got stuff ready to go. "All done." She said laying down the pen. "Let's see. you've got friends, family, and guys. Is that all? Let's put down life and your future too. Ok?" She nodded. "Ok now we're going out with some of my friends to eat pizza. I hope you don't mind." "No not at all." She said smiling. I slipped the paper into my purse and we left for the pizza place. 

When we arrived Shawna and Nikki were waiting with the pizza already on the table. We sat down and I reached for a slice. Heather also reached for one. "You can't do that remember? You're anorexic." I said to her pushing back her hand. "But you're eating!" She exclaimed. "That's beside the point. Besides I just recruit anorexics now, I'm not one." "UH!!!!" She slouched back in her chair. In a few more minutes five young teens walked into the pizza place. They all seemed to recognize Heather and came over. "Hey!" She exclaimed. "Oh hi are you Heathers friends?" I asked them. "Yeah. You wanna sit with us Heather?" one of the girls asked. Heather started to get up but I held her arm. "I'm sorry but she can't hang out with you anymore." I said returning to my pizza. "Why?" One of the others exclaimed. "Because she's anorexic now and she can't have friends." I said. "What are you talking about?" Heather shouted. "No need to get upset. You may as well start out right. Anorexics don't have time for friends. Do they Nikki?" I said. "No you didn't have time for us." She agreed. "Sorry Heather but anorexia is your only friend now. You want to stay thin don't you?" She lowered her head. "Sorry guys, maybe some other time." 

On the drive home I went very slowly. We passed a couple on a bridge kissing softly. "You see that Heather?" I asked. "Yeah." "Well mark guys off your list because you won't have any now." I said. "Don't anorexics have boyfriends?" She asked. "Some do. But they don't really have time for love. They're too busy thinking about their weight." Then we passed an old woman sitting on her front porch. "Look at that Heather. At least you won't have to worry about being like that." I said. "But she looks happy." Heather said upset. "True but you won't be happy or old." I said. "What do you mean?" She asked. "You'll die before your old enough to even have a future. Speaking of which get that piece of paper out of my purse, will you?" She did as I asked. "Ok now take the pen in the dashboard and mark off friends, guys, life, and future." She looked up at me. "All that's left is family." I looked toward her. "Mark that off too." "WHAT!" She screamed. "Well you can't expect to love them can you?" I said. "I love my family ok? And if you can't deal with that I don't care!" She began screaming and banged her fist into the door. By that time I had stopped in front of her house. "But you won't have time for." "Don't tell me that because I will! I will have time and you know why? Because you're crazy! Being thin isn't worth all that!" She screamed as she got out of the car and slammed the door. 

That's the story of how Heather found out about anorexia. I'm not anorexic now. All I do is to help girls know how to become the perfect anorexic and all they will have to give up. (Not a true story but it's something I wish would have happened to me before I became anorexic.)