Stomach starving. Cancerous deception splitting your mind into shattered pieces, taring down your body, beauty, and spirit. “You’re too pretty- too ugly- too fat- too skinny- too stupid- and too smart for your own good. You’re worthless. You don’t deserve anything.” These are the infinite lies you believe, with every inch of your being, when you are suffering from an eating disorder.
Photographer: Silvia Grav
For me, it all started when I was 11. Struggling with the concept of still being a child, and being forced to look at my body and myself differently because it wasn’t what my agency “approved of.” Buck teeth. Flat chested. Baby fat. Baby face. “When is puberty going to hit this girl? She’s unmarketable.” Confusion, over sexualization, and a tornado of uncontainable anger, that I so stupidly allowed myself to be swallowed up by such incredible distortion.
- At 14, my disorder hits me like a ton of bricks. I had starved myself for so many years, that it completely threw off my hormones and caused me to experience demented periods. This particular time, I had been bleeding profusely for six days before I told my mom what was wrong and was was admitted into the hospital. I went into full cardiac arrest. I flat lined. I fully remember having an out of body experience. Standing in the corner of the tiny room I was in, confused at how I got there, while the doctors and nurses rushed to rip off my clothes, and hooked me up to monitors. “Am I dead?” I thought. “Is this some kind of crazy limbo?” Confused, I look above me, and my breath was immediately taken away. The ceiling was no longer a ceiling, it was THE COSMOS. It was planets. It was nebulas. It was stars. And then I saw a bright light leading the way. But just as I looked at that light, a soft and nurturing voice came into my head and said, “This isn’t how you go. You’re not done here yet “, and sooner than I could conceive of what had just popped into my head, I was jolted back into my body. When I came to, I remember feeling REALLY alive, and REALLY cold, as the four blood transfusions swept through my veins. I of course lied about everything and just blamed it all on “a really bad period,” because I thought I could handle it. I thought I could change.
And yet, after all of that, one would think that they would do everything in their power to get better. I was given something so special. Not only a second chance at life, but a VISION. A vision of how incredibly beautiful and perfect everything already is. But, I couldn’t handle it. I wasn’t ready. As hard as I tried, my mind once again over took everything.
I can remember being 20 and having a breakdown. I came out to my then boyfriend, who is now my incredibly handsome and beyond loving husband, and I finally put my foot down and told myself I had, had enough. I was so tired of HATING myself and punishing myself for no reason other than, I wasn’t some else’s version of “perfect”, whatever that means.
I’m happy to say that at 27, I am recovered, and continue to recover. Though, those daemons will always be there; dormant, waiting for the perfect moment to arise and try to take my mind back from me, I REFUSE to “go gentle into that good night.” And as long as there is breath in this body, I will ALWAYS “rage, rage against the dying of the light.” No. My body isn’t perfect, by industry standards or maybe anyone else’s….but it’s perfect for ME. And that’s all that matters. In lieu of #NEDawarness week, I would like to say to any other women, ladies, or young girls out there suffering, who are reading this, PLEASE know that you are NOT alone. 1 in 4 girls has an eating disorder or body dis morphia issues. As staggering as that is, know that there are SO many girls out there struggeling just like you. Be each others strength. Let’s show each other how to heal, by first being honest, and being neither ashamed nor embarrassed for our lessons in life. They can be our greatest teachers if we allow them to be. Please know that so many people love and care for you. You are SO WORTH being happy AND healthy! Please love yourself enough to seek treatment, talk to someone, and take all the time you need to heal. You are already so incredibly perfect, and loved beyond words.