TW: touches on eating disorders, suicide and self harm
Hello. This is a slightly long story that combines with another, but please stick with me. This jumps around, but I tried to tell the last couple years as best I could.
All my life I have struggled with many, many issues, but the number one problem for me has always been my body. First off was my height. I am 5’11 and grew very fast as a child. I towered over the other girls, and even the boys. I felt awkward and looming. I was never thin either. I had curves even as a child.
In high school I played soccer and softball and worked hard to maintain what I thought was a “good” thin image. But over the years, my love of theater took over my life and I had no time for sports. I stopped playing and as a stage manager, spent all my life in the theater. My weight went up a bit, but nothing too ”bad” (I have always admired the athletic body type. Not thin, but muscled. No idea why, I never was into “thin” for myself)
Now, I want to add to this that I have had depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses since I was in 6th grade. Accepting and dealing with things is hard for me. I have been suicidal and potentially self harming through what has been just under half of my life. I relied (and still do) heavily on my friends to get through the day.
In junior year my best friend didn’t show up for school. I found out she was hospitalized for an Eating Disorder. She was so thin that when she sat up, her heart would beat irregularly. I was shocked. It happened so slowly that I never noticed. As the year ended, she came back, but she was still struggling.
All of my other friends graduated that year and I was excited for my senior year with my best friend. But the day before school started, she had to go back into a treatment center. I had so many issues accepting myself that I did not know how to approach other groups. So I ate and was alone every day my senior year while she was gone.
It was hard when she came back. On top of taking a demanding course load and directing as well as stage managing, I was her lunch monitor. I volunteered to make sure that she was eating the food the doctors told her too so she did not have to eat alone with a teacher. It was hard. As a curvy girl not at ease with herself, hearing a girl all the time call herself fat and be concerned with her weight hurt me. But I stuck with her, even when she had to go away again.
When I left for college, I left an abusive relationship (with a boyfriend) and left a lot behind. But I had trouble finding anything to replace the support network I had to deal with depression and such. I gained a lot of weight and felt miserable.
This last school year (my sophomore year) I worked hard to get into a medically healthy weight. I made friends and have been feeling better than I have in a long time. My best friend, however, has reached her lowest.
So here is my promise to you all now. I will fight for acceptance. I don’t know how to help her right now, but I want to work so that no other person has to go through what we both have. Love yourself. Work with yourself. And trust your friends. They love you no matter what you look like.