Orthorexia: How She Changed My Life

I'm Xanthe Freed and I'm another teenager with a secret. Mine is bigger than most. It's not relevant to boys, it's not relevant to bitches. I'm just a girl with a problem- and that problem is Orthorexia Nervosa.
I'm Xanthe Freed and this is my story.


9. Joel Relapse

I didn't have to wait long to tell Joel what had happened. It was just after one o'clock this afternoon and I was sat in my room, doing some art work, when there was yet another knock on my door.

"Come in!" I yelled, slightly irritated. The door swung open and my dad poked his head in.

"Xan, sweetheart, Joel's here to see you," he explained. I looked at him, unblinking.

"Where is he?"

"Here," dad said, standing aside to reveal Joel, dressed in jeans and flannel shirt.

"Oh. Hey, Joel," I said, putting my paintbrush down.

"Hey," he smiled.

"I'll leave you two to it, shall I?" dad said, making a swift exit.

I signalled for Joel to come in, getting up and shutting the door behind him. He stood in the middle of my room for a while, looking at all of my belongings. My room is nothing special. I have two large windows, under one is my desk and by the other, my armchair. My bed is across from my desk and my wardrobe is behind the door. It wasn't the physical furniture that Joel was interested in though. It was my artwork.

Art is one of the only things that I'm still good at. I'm rubbish at sport now and my doctors advised me to give up most of my instruments, so I don't have lessons any more. I still play my guitar and flute now and again, but we sold my trombone, which is a shame, because I was quite good at it. My sister gave up piano last year, so my parents sold the baby grand we had so I can't even tinkle about on it when I'm bored now. Anyway, I still have my artwork, and I tend to pin up stuff that's drying or a work in progress.

At the moment, I have the canvas I painted of the city skyline, some ink drawings and a few oil paintings up. Some of my better pieces are around the house. I prefer to give them away than to keep them. It's like giving back to others.

Joel took a particular interest in the skyline.

"Did you do this?" he asked, moving closer to get a better look.

"Yeah," I replied, moving so that I was stood next to him.

"It's amazing."

"Thanks, Joel." We looked at each other for a while.

"I thought about what you said the other day," he said, turning to me. I looked at the floor, not wanting to know his answer. "I was wondering if you would talk to my sister. I've been watching her the last few days and her eating habits are awful. I think your sister is on to something."

"Oh," was all I could muster.

"So? Will you do it?"

"I'm not sure I'm the best person for the job any more," I admitted, wrapping my arms around myself and pulling my jumper sleeves further down.

"Why not? You're perfect! You've been through it and gotten over it. She'll listen if it's coming from you."

"I'm not perfect, Joel. And I certainly haven't gotten over it," I snapped, stomping over to one of the windows.

"Wait, what?"

"I've relapsed, Joel. And- I don't know what to do, because they're diagnosing me with Anorexia Nervosa and over-exercising," I cried, staring out of the window, tears running down my cheeks.

"It's back?" he asked from the other side of the room. I nodded, wiping my eyes even though Joel couldn't see my face. "Oh, Xanthe. That's awful."

"No, Joel, the awful thing is, I really thought that I was getting better. But in reality, I was getting a hell of a lot worse."

The next thing I knew, I was in Joel's arms, sobbing my heart out.

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