From the heart of a young woman

I am posting on behalf of a student. I assigned a personal narrative assignment and this student struggled with her ability to let me read material that exposed so much of her heart. When she was finally able to turn it in she said she wanted to share her words, even though it was hard, because she wanted someone else to be able to get help or find healing in her words.

I believe words have a healing power and hers have helped heal her wounds and she wants others to start the same healing process. I am posting this with her permission on the condition she remain anonymous. *All names have been changed.

Read and take in the brave words from a  young woman.

“2015 was a big year, in terms of me growing as a human being and I don’t mean physically. I mean mentally. A lot of things happened to me that I did not know could exactly happen to me. I knew they happened to people, but never thought it would happen to me.

I passed out for the first time ever, which doesn’t sound too extreme and it’s not but the reason why I passed out is what opened my eyes.

Over the past couple of years I struggled with my weight. To be honest I don’t think it was my weight but more the way my body looked. It started when I got into middle school and my friend told me everyday that I look horrible. I didn’t do my make up in the start of middle school, not did I did my hair. As she continued to bash the way I look, I started wearing make up and doing my hair. She continued, at one point I asked, “What is so wrong with me that you continue to say I look horrible?” She said, “Your body looks weird.”

You would think four years down the line I would have forgotten about it and moved on, but yet here I am writing about it. Every person at least to me has their own image of their “perfect body”. So in the start of 2013 I told myself, this was it I was going to get the body I wanted/loved. I did workout occasionally workout but I did not change anything in my lifestyle.

2014 come around and once again I told myself that this was it. I needed to get in shape. I changed what I ate, I exercised, I lost weight. In the beginning of 2014 I was a size 5, by the end of the year I was a 3. Not much of a change but there was a change.

2015 was it got worse. I was addicted to losing weight, by the end of freshman year I dropped down to a size 1. I was running everyday and eating healthier but I wasn’t losing weight fast enough.

The summer before sophomore year I cut my 2,200 calorie diet to 1,500 calorie diet.

With all the worrying how I was going to lose weight, I became anxious and unhappy. Now not only was I worrying about losing weight but I was worried about everything else. My grades became a huge part of my life.

With all this worry came with me shutting people out, laying in bed staring at a textbook all weekend long. I didn’t want to go out and I didn’t want to see people. I just wanted to be alone.

When people asked me what was wrong, I could never explain how I felt or what anxiety does to your body, the constant shaking and fidgeting all had a reason I just couldn’t explain. When you can’t explain something, people think you don’t know what you’re talking about or think you’re wrong. So instead of trying to explain it, I tried to hide it. I put on a smile I went through everyday living a lie.

It worked. People got off my back, left me alone and stopped asking me what was wrong. I was finally free of questions I couldn’t answer. But it did not change the fact that I was unhappy with everything and even more so my body.

I was getting skinnier and people were finally starting to notice. For a few months everything seem to remain stable, until one day I had softball condition and I opted out of eating that day. I had gotten through everything except the box jumps, after the first set I couldn’t stand up straight. I fell but caught myself with a fall. My coach told me to sit for a minute. I felt fine so I continued to jump up and down. I don’t remember falling, I just remember my coach was standing over me asking what I had eaten that day. Everything else is pretty foggy.

I do know I was lucky I didn’t hit my head or fall on my leg/arm. My coach actually caught me on my way down. I now ask myself what would have happened if *Linda wasn’t there. What if I did hit me head? What id I had broken my arm? With all those questions I realized that I am harming my body more than helping it. But obviously things don’t change, overnight it takes time and effort.

I wanted to have a healthy lifestyle yet I didn’t know how. I still don’t know how to fix my lifestyle. I don’t know how to control my anxiety or how to get rid of it.

How do I fix myself if I don’t know how it? Now I need to figure out how.”

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