anorexia

‘You’ll never be anything, don’t bother with college.’ I was a ghost with a heartbeat. I wanted to fade into oblivion, ashamed of who I was.’: Young woman battles anorexia, urges others facing struggles to know, ‘You are your main priority’

“Before I could finish my sentence and inform my mother I have it, she rolled her eyes and stated, ‘Oh, is this the thing where they don’t eat? Pretty selfish really.’ I will never forget the moment she said, ‘I don’t want to do this just as your mom, I want to be your best friend.’ In this dark moment, I just stared at her. I felt nothing. ‘There is nothing you can do.’ I was so very, very, very wrong.”

‘She’s a size 5 now.’ Those words were spoken with delicacy, and met with silence. They’d call me ‘the big one’ of our friend group.’: Woman beats anorexia after almost ‘wasting away, dying,’ now inspires others to recover, ‘I’m not alone’

“Thanksgiving break in my sophomore year of college, something specific happened. To this day I can remember the horrible pain I felt that night. I was using diet pills, purging, self-harming. I was a mess. I told myself, ‘This is what you deserve.’ I was given an ultimatum. ‘Move home and go to treatment, or you’re on your own.’ Frightened, I listened.”

‘Our beautiful, once vibrant Sarah is now a shell of a human.’ I was spiraling out of control. A monster was being born.’: Young woman overcomes eating disorder, ‘struggling is not a character flaw. You are worthy of help.’

“I was struggling in secret, terrified someone would find out. Bit-by-bit, I was disappearing. ‘You don’t need to use your body to show you’re hurting.’ School no longer mattered, and a monster was being born. Everyone walked on eggshells around me. Then all of a sudden, my parents learned what was happening. They were shocked.”

‘Watch what you eat. Work harder in the gym.’ I started purging. To be better means to be smaller.’: Young woman overcomes eating disorder, uses her recovery to help other young women change their way of thinking

“‘I feel fat’ was one of my most commonly used phrases growing up. Most people worry about zits and grades, I was worried about staying alive. ‘You didn’t fight for so long to just give into the eating disorder now.’ Six months later, a woman walked into the store. She lit up. ‘Oh it’s you, you helped my daughter!’ I had no clue who she was. ‘My daughter is the one you talked to six months ago!’ Not only was she doing better, but she was ready to share her story ‘like the girl in Lawrence.’ How proud it made me.”

‘Two months before college graduation, my symptoms returned. The bloat, the blood, stomach pain, and fatigue.’: Young woman diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis, ‘I felt I would never get my life back, now I embrace it all’

“‘Natalie. He died.’ I can still remember it like yesterday. Being woken up in my freshman year dorm from a call. All I remember next is screaming, ‘No, no, no, no, no!’ Dead. Died. Gone. As time went on, I started feeling sick. Very sick.”

‘Oh, it’s just my skin.’ I’d stare in the mirror, worrying how to look as pretty as the other girls.’: Young woman born with vitiligo skin condition develops eating disorder to look as good as her peers, finally learns ‘recovery is worth it’

“‘As soon as someone notices something is wrong, I will stop.’ I was waiting for the attention. Girls would run away from me because they did not want to ‘catch my disease.’ Every day, while throwing away my lunch in school, or doing sit-ups in my bedroom, I started to feel proud. I was 13, and weighed 60 pounds. Your passions cannot be accomplished if you are struggling yourself.”

‘How selfish! Men looking at you in your leotards?’ On the outside we had it all. I was trapped.’: Woman finally escapes abusive relationship to pursue dancing dreams, ‘No one should fear for their lives, especially not in their own home’

“‘I knew you wouldn’t be able to control yourself. You’ve proved you can’t change to be a nice girl for me.’ Hours later, I found myself bleeding and alone, thrown from the car. Thankfully, a stranger happened upon me. She called the police. The man I had fallen for was gone. Finally, I broke. I was emerging from the nightmare.”

‘When’s the baby coming?’ My face turns red in Starbucks. I’m not pregnant, and I’ve been struggling to be.’: Woman battling infertility reminds us ‘words have weight,’ vows to ‘never give up’

“I manage a smile and lie. ‘Soon.’ I rush out the door, no coffee in hand, and cry in my jeep. Those extra 40 pounds are grief weight. My body starts to feel like a cruel joke. ‘When are you having kids?’ ‘Have kids already!’ ‘I’m ready to be a grandma. The clock is ticking!’ they say. But when I stillbirth? No questions. No words. Just silence. My husband battles silent resent. There’s no baby, so there’s no marriage. These weren’t the vows I signed up for.”

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