I hate eating disorders. Feeling very angry and sad today. It’s easy to muddle along ‘coping’ blindly until the next stark realisation occurs. A shift in the freak-show mirrors, as the gravity of what a waste this all is sinks through you like a heavy stone ripping through a fresh pale of water.

It was catching a bus up to town that is shared with some of the local high school students, seeing some with down-turned smiles and distant faces. Memories. Of myself in that same uniform years ago, pulling down my jumper to hide self harm scars, imagining ways I was going to get out of eating dinner that night. I can’t guess at what might truly be going on inside some of their heads but I can imagine at least one girl on that bus was concerned with the size of her thighs, a rumbling stomach or a torturous P.E lesson endured.

The pressure to look a certain way wasn’t even so relevant when I was there. It was not common at all, in fact I think I was probably the first student marked out with concerning status they had encountered. I was not aware at the time that they held a meeting to discuss how to best keep me safe. The raising of such flags must be much more routine now. I truly do not know how these girls (and yes, boys too) are meant to cope, exist, flourish, without damage to their wings. Perhaps I am underestimating their strength, but it worries me, it enrages me. Society has a lot to answer for.

It makes me want to scream and shout, and cry. I could cry. Such sadness in knowing that girls are continuing to hurt themselves in this way. Year after year, decade after decade, killing ourselves, and for what? I wanted to stand up on that bus and tell them that it doesn’t have to be like this. I wanted to shake the girl at the back staring out of the window and tell her to talk to someone if she wasn’t okay. I wanted to say to the boys “value these girls, as they are, they are precious.” But of course, who am I to offer those words? They’d be perfectly entitled to laugh in my face, standing there with my emaciated body the way it is. I am a consequence of everything I am spiteful of in this world.

It’s completely corny and flawed, but today I just want to tell every woman and young girl that they are beautiful, without alterations, without diets, without guilt. I wish I wasn’t such a damn hypocrite. None of this is fair or right.