It’s March 2, 2017. I’m two months out of rehab for anorexia. After two years of outward denial, I take to Facebook and post the following:
For those who don’t know, I’m recovering from anorexia, anxiety, and depression. I normally put on a happy face and pretend that everything’s fine, but I’m tired of living dishonestly and, as a mentor once said to me, it’s time to close the show.
I’m starting a blog to share my story.
May it raise awareness for the realities of mental illness.
May it start a conversation.
May it reduce the stigma.
May it bring comfort to you as you endure in your struggles.
May it bring you strength and hope.
I invite you to engage. I invite you to connect. I invite you to join me. We can start a dialogue.
Then I write the following. I write my first post.
How did I wind up with thoughts and values that aren’t my own?
Why do I question when people tell me I’m beautiful?
When people tell me I’m worthy of love?
Why do I believe that happiness is determined by a number on a scale, or the width of my waistline?
Why do I lie in bed at night praying that tomorrow I won’t wake up?
I’m privileged. I’m educated. I’m loved.
The fact that I feel this way is a total joke.
But it’s the way I feel all the same.
I miss the uninhibited Bella I used to be. The chubby girl was way more fun than this anxiety-ridden control freak.
I starved myself because it was my penance for being a shitty person; it compensated for the shame.
But now I’m not starving. I’m full.
Of calories and nutrients.
Of guilt and shame.
I “fixed” myself, gaining physical health, but losing my identity in the process.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
I see a waste of space. I see a life that’s pointless.
Nothing I say, nothing I do, will ever be good enough.
I keep hiding away, hopping environments, hoping a change of scenery will change my head.
But wherever I go, my thoughts come along.
If I disappeared, would people notice? Can I be lovable without being small?
I don’t know recognize this person.
I don’t recognize these thoughts.
I don’t know who I am anymore. I feel deeply, truly, lost.
I want to make a difference in the world. I want to do something meaningful. I want to discover who I am outside of my depression and eating disorder.
I know that means recovery.
I know that I need to recover.
I know that somewhere, deep inside, I really do want to recover.
That’s the person I need to channel.
That’s who’s buried deep in my heart.
I just need to find some purpose.
I just need some support.
I hope that by sharing my story, I can find the identity in the bowels of my heart.
So I’m starting this blog.
I am opening up.