Chapter One

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:

Hello there.

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. 

9 thoughts on “Chapter One

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  1. This is where you will find what you are looking for, beautiful, amazing, kind, talented, bright Bella. Being honest with yourself and those around you will connect you with people in ways you never imagined. Connection is the cure for these problems you are facing. I know you won’t believe me (yet), but as someone who has watched you grow, you light up any room you are in. You draw people in because of what shines from the inside. Also, now you’ve shown the world that you are an incredibly talented writer. KEEP WRITING. I love you dearly!
    Xoxo,
    One of your theater moms

  2. Bella, I admire you greatly for being so vocal about your mental health. So many people (including me) are hesitant to open up in fear of being alone in their experience. This entry really resonates with me and I can take away the fact that I am not alone and not powerless. I can’t wait to read more.❤️
    I’d also like to take a second from all the deep stuff and let you know that your writing style is fantastic. Your voice really shines through!

  3. I know what you are going through! I’m here to say that it gets better! It doesn’t ever completely go away to be honest but you learn to LIVE with it and through it! Finding something (anything) to make YOU feel better is the key! Try new things always! It makes you a more well rounded person in my opinion. After 35 years of searching, my thing is yoga! I danced, learned to draw, took a gazillion different classes in colleges, among many unhealthy things, and finally found the one thing that helped me escape the negative crap in my brain even if it was/is just for an hour and a half everyday. I found that learning how to be in the present, right here and right now, rid me of so many of my anxieties. You keep searching for what helps you do the same!

  4. You are brave. Your words powerful. You demonstrate how honesty is the path to healing. I look forward to more…

  5. Your choices affect more than just yourself, and if you made the choices that lead to your disappearance I would be truly be sad! From looking at your recent posts, so would so many other people. Such events cause me to reflect (more than you’d think) on the hurt the person was/is silently enduring and I tend to wonder if I missed an opportunity to reach out and be a friend or even notice that they were struggling. I admire your willingness to be open and honest about this very real trial. I remember going to find you on Facebook this past year at some point to see what you have been up to. I noticed there wasn’t much there when I was used to seeing pictures of you with friends pop up in my feed. I recall wondering if everything was alright. I know we don’t know each other very well, but I enjoyed being your counselor at Rockbrook waaay back in 2009, I will never forget your smile. You smiled a lot. I like to see where life has taken “my” girls, and I do enjoy following you on Facebook and through your journey now.

    You are NOT worthless, and I’m not just saying that because you have gone through really debilitating trials. You have the potential to help many people and do something with your life that has meaning to you. We all have “dark” days, weeks, months or even years where we do feel lost or confused. Hang in there. You have no idea who you are helping just by sharing your thoughts and feelings here.

    p.s. You have a gift with writing. My writing sucks and I was a teacher. haha!

  6. This is truly something powerful….and I am beyond words to describe exactly how courageous you are for being this honest. Thank you for sharing this; THAT is something awesome. Love you past pluto

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