I, by myself, am not a powerful person. I cannot take sole credit for my accomplishments, nor my downfalls. I did the actions, I made the choices, and what happens is my responsibility. But in this life…we are here together.
I spent a lot of my time in the past several years feeling very alone. I felt that those who could understand more clearly what I felt, didn’t have the answers that I sought. We all felt miserable. We all wished for change. We all felt stuck. None of us, sitting inpatient, had the key to “success”. Nobody really had a lasting answer for what I had to do to be able to eat something without feeling like absolute shit.
My loved ones and those around me could tell me things all day. You’re beautiful already. You don’t need to lose weight. You don’t need to punish yourself. You are a good person. You have so much to live for. You can do this.
As much as I was told that, “I can do this”, I felt none of it. I felt paralyzed by the disorder that I unwillingly gave permission to to run my life.
Sometimes I wonder where it really began. Was it wanting to be a model? Looking up to the thin girls on America’s Next Top Model? Was it the fighting that happened at the dinner table that took away my appetite? Was it the fact that I was constantly pointed out as being “the skinny one”, like that was my only claim to fame? Or was this bound to happen, one way or another?
Maybe all of it. Maybe none of it. Either way, it happened.
Anorexia didn’t slowly take over my life. It swooped in, told me it was my savior, and tried to cling on as long as it could. If certain things hadn’t have happened the way they did, anorexia would have taken my life.
That was always it’s goal. To run me into the ground. Because, like it convinced me, “I wasn’t needed here”.
I felt strong isolation while amidst my disorder, even though the world is full of people. Many say the world is over-populated by people. So, why couldn’t I see that? Why wouldn’t I see that?
My behaviors stemmed from messages I received or interpreted throughout my life. I began to believe the disorder more than my friends and family. I worshiped anorexia like a relentless god.
And one day, years into the battle…I looked over, and there were the people. The people who were tired of watching this battle, tired of watching me die. People who stopped trying to say what they always say, because I wouldn’t listen.
I heard them, but I didn’t believe them. A hundred people could tell me I have worth, but the one voice that told me I didn’t, I believed. The disorder.
It takes a lot to really, truly listen to the other people around you. To try with all your might to take what they have to say into consideration. To not immediately fight their words in your head. To give the thought that, maybe they aren’t trying to hurt me, a chance.
We need each other. I thought I was better alone, not hurting the rest of the world. If I sectioned myself off, I wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone. I wouldn’t cause them any more pain.
What I didn’t consider was anything positive I had to offer. I believed there was nothing. But I also believe that everyone is here for a reason. It was so much easier for me to say that to the rest of my peers in treatment…but me? Nope.
Every person has value. Every person has reason. Things, situations, lead us astray. But we will always have something to offer.
I am a good listener. I love to write, and believe it’s my best method of communication. I love animals, and want to help save them from being put down for no reason. I aim to protect, and build up…not to crush or put down.
These traits are necessary in this world. If I died years ago, who would be the one with my boyfriend right now? Who would be the one in college, speaking up for the rights of others? Who would be writing what I could have written, reaching people in some form? Who would be my best friend’s best friend? Who would take the place of my mom’s daughter?
I am supposed to be here, because I am still here. I could have died many times throughout the past 24 years, and I didn’t. You, reading this right now…you are reading this for some purpose. Maybe you find nothing helpful from it, but you’re reading it anyway.
Maybe I can help that other person. Maybe you can. Without us, we’d all break. Think about the people you love most. Do they have purpose? Why wouldn’t you?
Beauty comes from the fight. I aim to spread what beauty I can. There needs to be people out there who have made it through. Who can help those who haven’t yet. Who can try with everything they have…because that has meaning. It means that not only have I made it through, but I made it through to be here right now, helping you.
We don’t know what the future brings. It will probably bring both pain and triumph. What I’m getting at is, I can no longer merely survive, trying to find a way out, to avoid the pain. Pain can later have some purpose, if you can make it. Maybe to help someone. Maybe to give you strength for other things that are thrown at you. Maybe to show others that people do survive.
This notion doesn’t make things less painful as they’re thrown at you. But it does give a reminder that not everything needs to crush you. Not everything is meant to kill.
We need each other. A solitary life is not one that can last. We are stronger together. And I won’t give up.