Why can't I be perfect?

I have issues. I have lots of them. How will I survive?
This is the story of Bryony James. A 16 year old girl who is struggling with anorexia and depression.
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5. Growing Concern

Mollie and Victoria were really concerned after they had read the story. I think it made them realise what was really going on, it wasn’t just a short burst of something. They knew something serious was going on, it couldn’t be shaken off. Mollie told me about when it happened to her; she had a pushy father and he made her feel awful about herself so she resorted to self-harm. I was quite shocked that she had suffered too. Mollie seemed perfect, with her posh house that had a swimming pool and five huge bedrooms, lots of money and being really clever. I thought things could never be difficult for her but that was where I was wrong.  She was more vulnerable than I had anticipated. I was going to have to watch what I said and did around her, she would be able to spot when I was down from a mile away.

Victoria had been through tough times too and had had some of the same experiences as me so they both understood what I was feeling, or that’s what they said. I don’t think they really did as they couldn’t prevent what was happening to me. Even so, at the time I was very grateful for their support and the way they acted like they understood what was going on, unlike the last time it happened. The time when my friends had abandoned me and forgotten that I was struggling with a major psychological issue. They didn’t want to see me fade away from them, I was one of their closest friends and they said that they couldn’t bear to lose me. Victoria said she would kill herself if I died.

Soon after that things seemed to improve; I think my friends thought I was okay, which I was for a while but then I started to hide away from them. I became a recluse; I was like a hermit, living apart from other people.                                                       

***

As I deteriorated more and more I kept on missing lunch and staying awake at night. I couldn’t sleep, or at any rate I wasn’t allowing myself to sleep. I worked as hard as I could at school and did my homework to the best of my ability, spending as long as possible on it so as to achieve perfection. I needed to get something right, everything else in my life was going wrong so I needed to be in control of something.

 I became more depressed and considered suicide a number of times, with hindsight this seems shameful but when you get to the bottom of the deepest, darkest pit of despair there seems to be no alternative, no other way to escape; you begin to contemplate whether life would be better off with or without you. I just couldn’t bring myself to make a decision though. My friends, especially Mollie, Zoe and Victoria meant too much to me as did Hope. Deep down I knew that these people would protect me unknowingly from death, I hadn’t become completely cold hearted. There was still a chance. They told me that they understood but if I wanted help, I would have to let them in. They said I couldn’t do it alone, it would be impossible.

***

I knew if I tried to do that, if I let them in, it would be hard. I was, and still am, a closed person but if I didn’t open up slightly everything could get a lot worse. So I attempted to tell them my feelings. Zoe suggested talking to a counsellor as did Mollie. I wasn’t going through all that again though. There was nothing they could do to make me go to a counsellor. I argued with myself, I wanted to feel better, positive and enjoy life but then my conscience went, ‘look at the last time you did’. I didn’t trust them. I couldn’t trust anyone.

I decided it was best to steer clear of my closest friends. They would only get me to do something I didn’t want to do. I went to the library at break, did homework and listened to music. I found it therapeutic; it calmed me down and cheered me up. It was my time out from the real world into an imaginative and perfect dream existence. I read at lunch or hung out with Hayley. She didn’t question me or try to talk to me, we could just keep each other company and chat about music or films we’d seen recently. I my case, none, as I hated cinemas and never felt as though I deserved a trip out to do something relaxing and enjoyable like that.

 In lessons I kept to myself. I felt invisible. When Victoria asked me if I been in our maths lesson, I knew I must be invisible as I had been there. Sitting right in front of her. That really annoyed me as I couldn’t help but think she no longer wanted me around. I thought my friends didn’t care about me. It would be easier for them without me hanging around, I wouldn’t be able to cause them any trouble or stress then. I wasn’t sure they cared anyway, I had doubts about everything, literally everything.

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