ALYSSA

I still remember with nostalgia the days I spent absorbing myself in unhelpful social media pages. The days where I would contemplate eating an apple for the day or continue to exercise without a single reward. The days where I would wear layers of clothes, thousands of jackets and hoodies, so I could neglect the feeling of coldness and pretend like my situation was something so minuscule. And lastly, the days that led to losing my identity - my life - my happiness. 


Not a day went by that a single thought of my body did not cross my mind. I constantly pinched my skin and found areas that did not please me. I pinched those areas so hard to the point where I left marks on my skin. To the point where I exhausted my body through exercise and would reject the feeling of tiredness as if my body could endure such pain - it couldn’t. I recall the moments with such melancholy that I would stare at my thighs and cry in agony because they did not appear to be as thin as I desired them to be. Or when I stretched my hand out and yelled; screamed, because there were not protruding bones poking out. I did the extremes to achieve such erroneous standards. 


Months passed and I woke up to the sound of the heart monitor slowly beating and my blurry vision trying to focus on the IV bag. Why was I here? I thought to myself, “I’m not sick enough to be admitted to an eating disorder clinic.” I remember I kicked and fought my parents to let me out of the clinic because I truly, sincerely thought I did not reach the requirements for anorexia.

I spent days in the hospital bed trying to find ways to cheat the system and go back to the old, negative way of living. However, I deeply knew I could not continue this path of restricting in order to numb the pain and feel as if I was in control. Realization in me sparked: I was tired of living this way. The way where I looked at food with such disgust. The days where I spent 4-5 hours exercising in order to cleanse myself of the small amount of food I ate. The times where I stood in front of the bathroom mirror for hours and wept in need of help. I was tired of being a living corpse. A corpse full of nothing but sadness and neglect. I was robbed of all the happiness and isolated in a place of depression and hatred.

It felt as if I was trapped in a box that was consumed by my disorder's voice and all I took into consideration was its harmful advice and tips. But I was tired of listening to that voice. The voice that told me the black, striped crop top didn’t look good on me. The voice that told me that denim shorts made my legs appear gigantic. But above all, the voice that told me I had no worth or value.

Although the clinic was a place that provoked such strong, negative thoughts, it helped me achieve the unforgettable gift of happiness. Because of the help and strong support system I had, I am the girl I am today. Not only am I the girl who found passion in art and in yoga, but I found value in herself. I realized I am a girl who is full of creativity, laughter, knowledge and so many other beautiful, exquisite things. Without pursuing the path of recovery, I would still be in the depths of my disorder. The depths that dragged me and pushed me to the cusp of death.


I recovered to be the girl who recognizes the beauty in herself - not the girl who picked at every single little flaw. But above all, I recovered to be the girl who looks at herself in the mirror without crying but rather reminding herself of her worth. 


So what pursued me to recovery? Being tired of the constant pain and abuse provoked by the disorder. Anorexia did nothing to me except cause such harm to my body and to my mind. It caused so many tears - so much pain - so much trauma…


I encourage anyone suffering to seek help. Not only will it provide you the relief, but it will remind you of your worth. Seeking help will not make you appear as weak but rather make you appear as a strong, remarkable individual who is pursuing such a beautiful journey, called recovery. This beautiful journey will not only help you improve yourself but others around you. I, along with so many others, believe in you and the strength within you. You have the ability and power to get rid of this horrible, damaging disease that will never provide you the gift of happiness - only recovery can do such a powerful, life-changing thing.

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