When I was nine years old I started to realize that I was not perfect. Funny how it took me that long to feel these things. I started to look in front of the mirror and consume hours of television. I would hear words like “hot”, “sexy”, or “beautiful” thrown about at pretty girls with thin bodies and absolutely no boobs. I was instantly like that is what I am going to look like.
Until Middle School came around and I started growing boobs. I got bigger in the chest and added curves to my body. I looked in the mirror and said, “I am hideous.” Then some loved ones said, “Wow you are so chubby.” Then this show said, “Jump in front of a mirror and everything that jiggles LOSE.” Then my friends at school said their weight. Then I saw this. What in the world was I suppose to do. My belly did not look like that. My hair was not looking like that.
So I remember being young and getting on the computer really stealthily. I found these websites called “ProAna.” I even had met a girl on a website and we were supposed to be partners in our fight to be skinny. My mental health was at risk here but I was around people who were not equipt to handle this.She survived off of energy drinks and I threw up everything that came into my body. I was twelve. I wrote lists of who I was supposed to be. I wanted to be ninety pounds. I wanted to look dainty and frail. So I kept throwing up. One day my mom caught me. Yet instead of feeling worried I was reprimanded. So I kept doing it and was just pretending not to be hungry. My mental health was steadily going down hill. Then people would get upset. So I went back to throwing up. Taking a bath right after dinner to throw up. Pushing my limits daily to see how little I could consume. Making up goals in my head. Then losing and bingeing on a bunch of food to then purge.
I was determined to look thin and thought that would make me happy. I kept throwing up and watching what I ate. Making rules that I would only eat in front of people. That way they always saw me eating. I then started to feel this numbness crawl up into my soul. Depression was the mental illness that begins to fester there until the moment I realized it was actually consuming my life. I was sitting on a bus somewhere in Costa Rica. I looked out at a beautiful meadow filled with sheep and beautiful bushes. I did not feel a damn thing. Not a feeling of where I was. Not a feeling of how cool it must have been to be there. Not a feeling of anything. I remember smiling all the time. I remember hiding in my room all the time and being like “cry damn it, feel something.” I just could not feel anything. So I took a knife I found in the house and I pressed it against my skin. I had done it before just when I was angry. I had cut my skin in patterns when I was upset. I had gotten yelled at it for my apparent need to cut did not matter to me I thought all people did it. The more I did not eat and the more I self-harmed the more I got into feeling okay. My mental health deteriorated further.
Can you spot the self-harm? Here I am at nineteen. Where I was told how to live, how to act, how to be. Where I was going to get married. Where I was going to college that I hated. Where I was going to be somehow perfect. I found laid down my spirituality and picked up Jesus. That was supposed to save my life. That was supposed to make me feel better. Yet I still had scars on my wrists, cuts on my arm, and thighs. I still felt empty and unsatisfied. I still struggled with my identity. Still did not want to eat anything. I still was smiling though. So I look like a brilliantly happy girl. I was chatty. I was happy. I participated in a hundred different things: modeling, politics, environmental conservation, volunteering, kids, Cru, blogging, and church. I told people how I was feeling. Yet they just did not want to hear it.
So in August of 2016, I started writing my own Thirteen Reasons Why. I wrote them in my head and never on a piece of paper. I did not glamorize it nor really think of it as reasons for suicide. Mine were not people. In fact, all of my reasons were feelings.
At this point, I was utterly alone in my thoughts. I began to drink heavier, speak less, lose interest in all the things that I loved. I started to push everyone away. I was involved in ministry and went overseas. There I felt alive. I was alone, but I was alive. I met a woman there who inspired me. She played with fabrics and taught at the college I was at. I just felt a soul connection. I wanted to be like her. I came home and slipped away again. I began to cry myself to sleep. I sat at the end of my bed and pretended like it was a cliff. In three seconds you could jump. I planned out my death. I would make it convenient for everyone. No mess. No hurt (I thought.) I planned on going to a picnic and then hugging my friends for the last time. I planned on calling my family and telling them I loved them. I was done. My mental health almost stole my life.
Do you know what it feels like to be at your wits end? I did. I do. I could not just idly sit by anymore. Regardless of what my family thought of how I was handling things. Regardless of the days that getting up were hard. Regardless of who said negative things to me. Regardless of the issues, I had in my personal life. Regardless of who loved me and who did not. Regardless of the pain. I do not believe I got better because I worked on myself. I believe I got better because I reached out for help. I could not do it on my own. I was ready to go. I was ready to do anything to leave this life. To be honest, sometimes those dark thoughts creep back in a lot of the time. When I am on my medicine it is better for my mental health they say. Yet I lack my creativity. I lack my sense of self when I am on them. People say you cannot control bipolar disorder by yourself, I know that to be true so I took to seeing a great therapist. Sometimes I would be on medicine where I would see shit that was not there. Yet usually I am just paranoid. I will always work myself up that someone is following me. Yet I just know it’s not actually there. I have a really long way to go until I am good. Like this is just me getting to know myself. So I have to give you my thirteen reasons to live.
- You are human who deserves life
- Hope does not happen in death
- People love you and I do
- You have a purpose like a daisy out of concrete
- You are a go-getter and you will not give up
- There are beautiful people along the way trust me
- You can change your circumstances
- If you do not have support from your family it does not make you unworthy
- You looks have nothing to do with your heart
- Your voice is still your voice even when it trembles
- There is a difference between happy and joy and the difference is one is conditional.
- There are some shitty things in this earth and you are one thing that is not
- Your mind is valuable and we need you.
I am okay. I say that I am okay because I am not at one hundred percent. I do not function as well as some people. I am still figuring out this mental health thing as I go. I am still figuring out that crying is good therapy. Shit, I am figuring out that boobs are great. Your ass is fine. You can be loud. You can be whatever the hell you want to be. I just know that I do not want to be sad. I realized that I like things. So take that mental illness and shove it up your ass.
Categories: body image, break ups, Dating, Eating Disorder, eating disorders, emotional health, Encouragement, gender, Hope, lifestyle, mental, mental health, positive thinking, Uncategorized, uplifting, woman, womanhood, World