Hello, 20.

I have been stuck at the age of 16 for four years and despite the passing of the days, I’ve not become any older. Remaining four years my junior has deprived me of life opportunities and experiences typical of teenage and young adult life. It has prevented me from living like my friends do; drinking, going out, meeting boys and having fun with my friends. It has challenged my ability to enjoy being with other people including family and friends. If I gave up my eating disorder, I would be able to socialize more. I would be more open and able to take up opportunities and possibilities that may come my way in terms of socializing, academic pursuits and other activities.

I have been living an isolated, lonely life, far from others and their experiences. I have been completely disengaged and disturbed by my own thoughts and subsequent actions. I have felt guilty upon eating anything outside my minutely planned meals and struggle even with going out for breakfast. I have found it hard to look at the food in front of my without thinking about where it will be found later, located on a certain part of my body. These payoffs are working against me fully and completely. All the payoffs are negative for ESTHER. The only positive payoffs relate to my eating disordered self, where I feel as though I am in control, have control, have tight reigns over my appearance and my lifestyle. In reality, I don’t. It’s Ana. Ana has held her grip on me for years and years now and it is finally time I let go.

Call me crazy, call it what you want. But you have no idea how tough this shit is until you’ve experienced it yourself. And I would never wish this upon anyone.

Tomorrow, I turn 20 years old. And I am home. So I’m going to do it for myself. I can’t deserve this life of shame, heartache and pain. I deserve to be happy. I need to, and everyone should stop worrying about how thin your legs look. It will be hard and extremely challenging but in the end, it will be worth it. Clothes are supposed to FIT. They are not meant to be loose or baggy. They are meant to show off healthy curves and a shapely body. Stick figures are not the ideal. I need to eat to nourish my body. I will eat to nourish my body and my soul.

I will be there to advocate for a better life for all those who suffer. I want to work to help others suffering from mental illness to have a voice, to speak up and to be heard. Reduce stigma and seek out a positive future. I’ve been told that it’s possible. And tonight, I finally believe that it is.

Start of a better life.

Start of a better life.

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15 comments
  1. Libby said:

    Inspiring and courageous Esther! Welcome home and a very happy birthday to you… 🙂

  2. Weblurker said:

    Far out, brussel sprout! This is amazing news! I knew you were a gutsy young thing but this tops the lot!
    Go well, and be strong.

  3. Weblurker said:

    OMG, I forgot to wish you Happy Birthday.
    Bye bye teens and bring on the ‘roaring twenties’!

  4. Poll E. Tix said:

    You’re right young lady, I have no idea how ‘tough that shit’ must be, but on behalf of all girls, and women, young and old, I wish you all the courage you need to hold firm in your commitment to healing yourself, and, whenever and however it may be, helping others too.

    Hal-le-lu-jah!

  5. Pink&Green said:

    Wow-the word is OUT, and you’re hot!

    Stunned-full of admiration-praise for you.

    Speechless and wishing you all the strength you need.

  6. SA said:

    Happy Birthday to a bright, brave, beautiful young woman – you Esther !

  7. Maz said:

    Xxx

  8. nic said:

    Go Esther!
    Go well and with your strength and courage and all of who you are.
    You are embraced by us all now and always.
    Love you so much xx

  9. WOW!!!! I am Kaz, my Dad and your grandmother were childhood friends. i am close friends with Nic. How beautifully you write. I am so impressed. I am a writer also. You have a lot of insight into you and that is rare at 16 and also at 20.
    Welcome to the rest of your life. It is wonderful that you have awoken, but I know that all awakenings have many hours of self reflection and hard work to get them to that place. I just wanted to say how touched I am by your journey. I also have struggled with my weight and my body image over my 48years, (most of them any way). thank you for sharing and thank you for staying in the fight…sounds like you are winning xxx Kaz

    • Thank you Kaz, for your warm words and wishes.

  10. Nicola said:

    So proud of you beautiful girl. I feel incredibly blessed to have met you as we both travel this journey towards a brighter and more promising life. Stay strong. Xx

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