I sat on my bed, heavy metal music blaring from the headphones in my ears, a knife gripped in my right hand, carefully mutilating my left arm. I reopened the cuts from two days before and made a few new ones. The blood dripped down my arm, slow, sticky and satisfying.
Ana tapped my shoulder, making me jump. "Oh, it's you. I thought it was my mom," i said with a relieved sigh, taking off my headphones.
"Sweetie, what are you doing?" she asked. "You know cutting doesn't do you any good."
"But it feels so damn good," i said, then leaned close to her. "Promise you won't think i'm crazy if i tell you a secret?"
She laughed. "I already know you're crazy, Jo. Tell me."
"There's a monster inside me, Ana," i whispered. "It's always hungry. It makes me eat and eat and eat. It's a horrid, fat, ugly, bottomless pit of a monster, and i'm so very afraid of it. I've got to cut it out!"
Ana gently took the knife from my hand. "You are the monster, sweetheart."
"No, Ana, i swear... there's something... I don't understand it, but there has to be something. I could never eat this much alone! Give me my knife."
She shook her head. "No. You've sufficiently wounded the monster for today. Now come on, let's get you down to the basement for an intense workout session."
I reached for the knife, but Ana held it just out of my reach. "Fine," i consented and followed her to the treadmill and weight set.
Sweat mingled with the blood dripping down my arm, stinging the fresh cuts, but my fatiguing muscles hurt far more. For 75 minutes, Ana kept me working, my longest workout session ever. When it was finally over, all i could do was crash on the couch. At least i was too tired to binge again.