She lay in her bed feeling all of her bumps and lumps. She checked each side, counting off the differences. Maybe one day she could count the similarities. Would she sleep more soundly then? Would her dreams be calm, instead of filled with things that made her scream in her sleep?Her mother assured her that her differences were what made her special. Everyone went through a stage of not liking what they were. Even her mother, with her porcelain skin and jet black hair. Sally didn’t believe her. No one as beautiful as her mother could have ever looked like this.
While she was in this stage, this in between place, she hid from the world. They wouldn’t understand her differences. No one would understand why her two halves didn’t match like them. She had tried hard to hide it in the beginning, fighting the change. It was no use, she could feel their stares, the double takes and the hushed words spoken. She knew that the giggles were meant for her. Sally envied their ability to be carefree, to be so confident in their place in this world.
Sally hoped that the change wouldn’t take long. She had been working at being perfect, practicing until her bones ached. Still, it wasn’t enough. It was never enough. The differences still glared at her, taunting her in her dreams. Her mind was a swirl of colours, angry red and midnight blues.
In the beginning her friends had sought her out. They sat at her door, trying to coax her to come out. There were phone calls and emails, text messages and facebook updates. All of them went ignored. Eventually they gave up. Sally knew that they would, she knew she didn’t deserve to be around them, to be happy. Once the transformation was complete it would be better, she knew that.
She rolled onto her side, the perfect side. It was the side that she liked, she knew that if she just waited, worked harder, the other side would be perfect too. There would be no more mess, no more curved lines. Her mother measured everyday. She wouldn’t let Sally see the numbers but she knew they were getting closer to perfect. Sally couldn’t understand why her mother wasn’t happy for her. Didn’t she want her daughter to be perfect too?
Sally’s mother had removed the mirror from her cupboard after she caught Sally sobbing in front of it. Her mother didn’t understand what it was like to not be perfect. How could she? Sally had seen the pictures of her when she was younger. She was born with two perfect sides, two sides that matched.
12 months later…
Sally had never reached her perfect ideal. Her quest consumed her until she was nothing more than an empty skeleton. She saw things in herself that weren’t there and became obsessed with them. Her fight to become perfect in her own mind had destroyed everything that was good, and eventually took her life.
If you suspect someone you know is suffering from an Eating Disorder please urge them to seek help. If you think that your own quest for perfection has become dangerous, please reach out to someone. For more information check out The Butterfly Foundation.