For those of you who may not be aware, this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I’m writing this post because I think it’s important for people to understand that an eating disorder is not a choice. It is not a phase. But most of all, I am writing this post for those who continue to fight this battle because if my story can give just one person the courage to ask for help, it is worth sharing.
They say that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. I beg to differ. Words are a very powerful weapon. They have the ability to cut deeper than any stick or stone ever could. Once they are said, they live on in your mind, body and soul long after they’ve rolled off of someone’s tongue. A long time ago someone once told me that I would never be good enough. That no one would ever love me for who I was. Those words have haunted every part of me for the last 4 years. They changed the way I saw myself. The way I believed in myself and the way I loved myself.
Food became a chore and the mirror my enemy. I became obsessed with trying to meet someone else’s version of “good enough.” I cannot even remember at what point it all spiraled so far out of control I never thought I would find my way back. There were times I spent crying and praying that I would find the strength to get through it, but I couldn’t. I remember vividly the nights that my heart was pounding so hard that I would promise God that if he just let me wake up the next morning I would try harder. And when I did wake up, it was the same thing all over again. A vicious cycle I just couldn’t get a hold of.
It wasn’t until I realized that trying to fight a war by yourself was impossible. I would never win. An army of one was not enough. With a lot of work, I have learned that life’s struggles, no matter what they might be, are not something to be ashamed of. That asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Once I began to put trust in others I was able to grow a support system I didn’t really know existed. It allowed me to break down walls, learn to trust people again and understand that no one deserves to hold that kind of power over me. That the only person that needs to love me… is me. The only person I need to be good enough for is myself. That once I was capable of that, the rest would all fall into place.
It’s a journey I’m still on. A battle I’m still fighting. Some days the road is smoother than others, but my good days far outweigh my bad and through it all I continue to remind myself that I am enough. That I have always been enough. That anyone who is capable of telling me that I am not, is not worth my time or my energy. We all have the strength deep down inside to do anything we put our minds to. If we want it bad enough we will triumph. So no matter where you are in your journey know that it is okay to ask for help. Keep fighting, keep believing and never give up. And always always remember: YOU ARE ENOUGH.