The following comment has been sitting in the moderation queue for weeks because none of us have felt capable of handling what it does to us emotionally:
im 13 years of age and im fat, obease even im 4″11 and im 12st 7lbs and i HATE it.. ive been thinking about straving myself but then i read all these things about starvation and it scares me.. my mum went from 13 stone to 9/a size 8, she doesnt really bother to help me anymore she just says im getting bigger and bigger.. then i look at my sister and shes so slim and beautiful i mean why couldnt i be like her? sometimes i hate my life.. and now im goin into year 9 im dredding it to be honest, all the abuse and the name calling im going to get.. i promise myself when i break up for the summer holidays i will exercise everyday but i know when the time comes i wont. I dont mind the exercising bit, just the eating part, its like im on my own and there no-one to help or support me it really does depress me i mean i never like to do p.e because ino im not fit enough to do it.. teachers in my school have offered to help me lose some weight but i never try my best i always give up. i cry almost everynight because of my weight and i just want to be like my mates and fit in, and liking a boy isnt easy either.. having deep feelings for him and he either doesnt care or whatever because of my weight im fed up of getting treated like “the fat kid” or “fatty” i wish i was dead sometimes, a few months back i tried to take an overdose, i think i’d be better of dead and im not scared atall of dying, i dont want to here like the way i am, i understand im a child with alot of trouble but no-one knows that, my mum doesnt know i cry everynight, or im troubled atall. Ok yeah, i love my computer its my hobbie togo on my computer, im never off it and of a saturday i just sit on my chair all day. I just wish there was someone, another fat child like me i could talk to, over the internet or letter. I just wish i could lose weight so much.
Yeah, I have the supreme hubris to write an advice column here, but you know, I get to pick the ones I feel competent to answer. I’m not competent to answer a punch in the gut. So I’m kicking it out to you guys, in the hopes that the hive mind will deliver.
We’ve already talked about what you would tell your 14-year-old self (a post that stemmed from a similar call for help on Big Fat Deal). And Aunt Fattie’s very first column dealt with a daughter who was getting hassled about weight by her mom. But since this actually appears to be a letter from my 14-year-old self (okay, I wasn’t British, but I was fat and suicidal and desperately unhappy), I’m really at a loss. What does one say, besides “please stay here and read and let us take care of you”? What would I have wanted to hear?
This is the best I can do:
Being 13 is awful, for everybody. Being 13 goes away. Dieting has only a 5% success rate at best, but if you wait long enough, you have a 100% chance of not being 13 anymore. Things get better.
In fact, the only way to absolutely ensure that things never get better is suicide. That guarantees that you won’t see what life is like on the other side of 13, and life after 13 is so much easier. Maybe not for a couple of years, but it really is.
You guys, that’s the best I can do before I just run out of words, which is why I’ve been trying to formulate a response to this for weeks. I know you guys have more to give than “hang on, it gets better.” Please help out.
(Note: A reader wrote in to say that “life will get better unless you commit suicide” read to her as an endorsement of suicide. I can’t say I understand how it would, but let me be very clear that I am saying nothing of the sort. What I’m saying is the reason that suicide isn’t a solution for a teenager in particular — and of course it’s not a solution for anybody, but the reason it’s not a solution for a teenager in particular — is that it puts a halt to any possibility that life will ever get better. And life gets better after 13 for almost everyone.)