Author's Note- This is my first Friends fic, and I was very inspired by ChristinaLouise's Perfect If It Kills Me, so I thought I'd try something like it. Now, I will say that I've been very interested in the field of Eating Disorders for some time now. I don't, thankfully have one myself, but I believe I have a pretty good understanding of the picture. If anyone would like to help me out with any details I may get wrong, I'd be open to it. I just wanna bring awareness to this issue. This may be a triggering read, so be careful if you've had any kind of trouble with these issues.
It was happening again, and Monica hated it, but she couldn't stop. Chandler was on a business trip, and her mom had their 2 year old twins, Jack and Erica. The silence made the voices that rumbled around in her head at the level of a constant, irritatingly painful hum even louder. The voices were always telling her that her parents were right to choose Ross as their favorite and that she wasn't worth noticing. It was those voices that led her here again, back to her bathroom with her fingers shoved down her throat. Her body heaved with every torrent of food that was forced up, but in some strange way, it made her feel safe.
She knew that that sounded crazy, even in her own head, but this was the only thing that had always been there for her. Yeah, she had Ross and the rest of the group, especially Chandler, but she couldn't even tell him. She hated to admit it, but she was scared.
Scared that she wouldn't measure up, scared that she never had, and scared that she never would. She cried copious tears, which mixed with the stomach acid and pieces of half digested Twinkies, Ho Ho's, Ding Dongs, and Klondike bars she had eaten that night. She always made sure that the food she chose for her binges was soft. That way, it all came back up easier when it came time to purge.
After an agonizingly long half hour, she got up off her knees and stood looking at her reflection in the mirror. She was sweating, and her throat ached horribly.
"For now, at least, I'm safe," she thought. "I won't get fat again as long as I stay in control."
Sometimes she wouldn't eat at all, or sometimes she would only eat because she felt trapped. If she felt the others were noticing the fact that she wasn't joining them in, say, a scone, she would take a bite just to get them to stop staring.
Chandler in particular seemed worried. She knew he knew her very well, and that it would be really hard to hide it from him, seeing as they were husband and wife and were supposed to share every struggle. Every one but this one, of course. She couldn't tell him because she feared that if he found out her darkest secret that it would be too hard for him to deal with and he would take Jack and Erica and leave her alone with her pain without even looking back. She couldn't risk losing Chandler, not after all they had been through.
After cleaning herself up, she went to the scale. She especially hated this part. If the number was higher than it had been the last time she weighed, she felt like a failure. If the number was lower, she felt a kind of giddy elation that was nearly impossible to describe. She felt as if she were chained to that scale. Those digital numbers were either her lifeline or her doom depending on the day.
Today's number was 125, two pounds heavier than her last weight, so once again, she cried.
"No! Damn it! Not again!" she exclaimed in frustration. "I worked so hard." Shaking her head, she grabbed her sneakers.
"Ember? Wanna go for a walk, girl?" she asked the golden Labrador who had trotted up to her while she had been lamenting about the weight gain.
Ember barked excitedly and wagged her tail. Monica chuckled and clipped on her leash. Ember loved to go for walks. Plus, Monica had to admit that Ember was a great cover. No one thought there was anything strange about a woman walking her dog. As she jogged out the door with Ember, she couldn't help but wonder when she would be able to get off this roller coaster. The truth was, despite the safe feeling it gave her, she wasn't sure she liked this ride anymore.