body dysmorphia

‘I started taking illegal diet pills and abusing laxatives. The voice in my head said, ‘The numbers on the scale trump everything.’: Woman battles anorexia, ‘The control makes you feel invincible’

“I started taking diet pills I’d buy from random people. I had no idea what the ingredients were. All I knew is they made my heart race. A girl in my local area who was also taking them ended up with a colostomy bag from the side effects. ‘The risks are worth it.’ Anorexia became my safety blanket.”

‘Look, she’s eating something!’ I hear the whisper. I feel the cold gnawing at the bottom of my stomach. I hate it and I love it.’: After 12 years battling anorexia, ED survivor learns to accept new plus-size body

“My brother makes me a sandwich when he sees I didn’t eat lunch. My bones poke up under my skin. ‘Please eat it,’ he begs. ‘You need to eat.’ It is so sweet of him, so I eat a few bites. But when he leaves, I give the rest to the dogs. They leave no evidence. Nothing in the trash for my dad to find when he empties it, nothing to clog the toilet. I have become clever in the ways of secret self-destruction.”

‘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.”

‘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.”

‘Never say ‘NO’ to a guy who had the courage to ask you to dance. It’s 3 minutes. It’s not THAT bad.’: Mom ‘shocked, disgusted’ by church flyer she claims ‘perpetuates rape culture’

“The flyer tells girls, ‘Wear a little lip gloss. And don’t forget the approved dress standards. You don’t want the guy dancing with you to feel uncomfortable because of the questionable outfit you justified.’ No. NOPE. NOOO! My church taught me I needed men to tell me how to behave sexually. I lived my whole life with shame, guilt. This is not happening with my daughter.”

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