The More Bones I Saw, the More in Control I Felt


Trigger warning. Eating disorders. Self Harm. This is based on a true story.

By: Joan Rose

They say those with an addiction don’t know they have an addiction.


I knew exactly what I was doing. Every skipped meal, every extra workout, every trip to the bathroom. They were intentional. For once in my life, I felt like I was in control. And it felt fucking good. Every time I rubbed my hands against my ribs. Every time I stayed later at practice to sweat just a little more. Every time I threw out my lunch and hid in a classroom until it was over. Every time I ran the faucet to cover the noise of my purge. It was all planned.


Your constant tormenting stopped when I went from 218lbs to 118lbs. You see, having a skinny girl as a punchline isn’t as funny as a fat one. Your words couldn’t effect me anymore.

You’ll never be loved.
Teachers pet.
Are you going to cry?
No one likes you.
No one would care if you died.
You should just kill yourself.

None of it represented the new me. For the first time, I was in control of my appearance. And it egged me on even further.


When I looked in the mirror, I was never satisfied. Ribs weren’t good enough, I wanted to see more. I wanted to feel more.

My mom couldn’t look at me without tearing up. But she never said what was wrong. Couldn’t she see that I was finally happy? When she hugged me, she would hesitate and rub her hands down along my ribs. Just like I did as I looked at myself in the mirror. She would turn to me and say, “Sweetie, I can feel your bones.”

I smiled and said, “I know.”

to be continued… 

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