When I was 12 I thought that the most important thing in the world was whether I got the part of Frankenstein in my school play. I didn’t get it, my friend did. I cried so hard it felt like my tonsils were going to leap out of my throat.
When I was 14 the most exciting thing in the world happened, someone asked me out. I’ll never forget the feeling of pure joy as I told my friends, the looks of jealousy and fascination on their faces and all the questions they asked me. Our first kiss was really unenjoyable for me because his tongue felt like a washing machine in my mouth, but to my friends I described it as the most romantic, perfect kiss in the world. I’m pretty sure they believed me.
When I was 15 he told me he wanted a fresh start. He went into the crowd of cigarette smokers and wine drinkers and he told me he didn’t think I was built for it. I spent months in heartbreak. I cried so hard it felt like my tonsils were going to leap out of my throat.
I couldn’t eat because my appetite had left when Robbie left, and the more I didn’t eat, the better I felt.
I felt numb, like I was in my own little world. I felt high. I started getting comments from friends at school and mums of friends at school about my weight. Then I thought that maybe if I just looked a little bit more beautiful, transformed into another version of me, he would take me back, and maybe the less I ate the more beautiful I would be.
From then on, the most important thing in my world became trying to be a new version of me.
It followed me everywhere I went. It was my best friend and boyfriend rolled into one. It helped soothe pain when I didn’t want to feel it. It became my guardian and protector, so I didn’t have to feel anything.
One day, this version stopped working. It just stopped working. Suddenly instead of taking away my feelings, it made them a million times worse. It turned on me, it told me I was lazy, and ugly, and fat, and disgusting, and instead of numbing me it made me hyper aware.
I decided to try and let it go, I realised it wasn’t working for me anymore and that it was time to say goodbye. But it had become a curse, this thing that I was once so grateful for had turned on me. The pain of that feeling is one I still find impossible to put into words. When your best friend, the closest thing to you turns on you it feels like your whole world has stopped.
I have tried on hundreds of different versions of me since then, all of them have stopped working though, so I’m still searching for the right one. Now I’m 22, this version of me is able to write about her experience, but I’ll be searching forever for the version of me that stays, or maybe it will always be forever changing.