Consumed & Conflicted

by Halle Valenchenko

Content Note: Eating Disorder

155 to 118.


Thirty seven pounds lighter stood the skeleton of a girl who used to live so vivaciously.

Rosy cheeks were replaced, now dim and hollow, void of the color that once exuded radiance.


Friends no longer became a priority.

Friday nights were replaced by a gym and its treadmills,

countless hours endured to ensure the result of a cleared guilty conscience.

Compliments from peers regarding my thinning appearance served as reinforcement to continue

encouraging my determination to force a flame that refused to be ignited.


The gratification of fitting into a size 4 did not make up for the bones that prominently protruded

displaying the arms, thighs, and hips I believed to be quintessential to finally acquire happiness.

Yet, I realized that no matter how hard I ran, little I ate, or how disciplined I taught myself to be

I was never going to feel anything, but an insatiable hunger to protect what was perceived of me.


A trip to St. Vincent enabled temporary relief to the growing damage that was yet to fully blossom.

Food is what I craved, dreaming to be free of the caloric calculator that regulated my self-control

though my body began to reject itself, slowly losing the battle it was never forecasted to win.


Three IV injections were needed to revive the burning light that faded to a sea of gray embers,

multiple pounds were needed to be gained in order to be rid of the label “anorexic,”

a plethora of tears were needed to be set free, washing away pent up shame.


Eternally struggling to drown infinite doubt;

my health was at the expense of a war waging within.