I didn’t really admit to it, but I’ve always had pretty bad self-esteem. During my sophomore year, after gaining 20 pounds in a year, my thoughts started to take control. My inner critic grew stronger and stronger. Joining cross country helped me drop some of the extra weight, but I still wasn’t okay with who I saw in the mirror. Eventually it hit a point my senior year where I was disgusted with what I saw. I hated looking in the mirror. I literally wanted to rip fat from my body. This is where the eating disorder started.
It consists of guilty feelings, inner demons, and feelings of losing control. I’ve gone from eating the same (half)meals day to day, to a calorie counting nazi. I managed to drop weight, and I still wasn’t happy. My negative attitude drove away my friends and my boyfriend. I was a mess. After reuniting with Adam, I put the weight back on and I got through summer. I was only comfortable with myself when I was with him, and even then I had the demons whispering to me sometimes. It never stopped. Somehow, I managed.
My first semester of college was pretty bad. I cried night after night about everything. My life felt like it was crumbling and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I went through days of eating hardly anything to binging. I was on a cycle of guilt whether it was not exercising one day or eating too many cookies one night. This continued all of first semester. My hair actually began falling out towards the end of the semester because of the stress I was under. After Christmas break, I knew I had to do something.
I started seeing a therapist and I realized I had an actual problem. Everyone did not want to claw at their bodies and have breakdowns whenever they didn’t achieve an unrealistic expectation. This was crushing. It did, however, offer hope. Now that I had a name for my demons; I was better equipped to fight them. I am currently working with my therapist and my inner self to improve my life. One of the biggest lessons I’m learning is that thin does not equal happy.
I want to learn to love and accept myself exactly the way I am (not five pounds from now, or once I get my GPA up). It’s the toughest challenge I’ve ever had to face. Every day is a new battle, a new struggle.
Sometimes often, I lose. But the victories are what matter. I am trying to become more comfortable in my skin, and I am learning to trust myself. Each success is another step in the right direction, another step towards recovery.