I have always found that in talking through our hurt stories; the pain and suffering we have been through, even if it’s only to oneself, just getting it out there in the open so the processing of such events can finally happen; it’s a powerful thing, it’s a healing thing and it’s a beautiful thing. The more we talk about it, the more we’re able to accept it as part of our past and in that process, it begins to not hold as much weight, it begins to no longer bind us and trap us in so we are no longer forced to wallow in the hurt. This has been a tough lesson for me to learn throughout the years but I do think it’s an important one that once learned, can benefit us all.
My hurt story began 7 years ago.
I was a completely different person back then; someone who feared human interaction, someone who really didn’t like the person that I was, someone who was ashamed and guilty that I felt that way, so I hid away from anyone and everyone, even if they offered a helping hand. I mean, truthfully, who would want to get to know, much less love, a girl who can’t even figure out how to love herself most days?
During this time, I had been in and out of rehab for anxiety, depression and a deep embedded battle with anorexia; I had lost many of my friends because of the fear of sharing too much with them and ultimately getting hurt or even worse, having them try to help me get better. These things were debilitating and ruining any chance I had for an enjoyable life. They had clouded my view so that I could really no longer find joy in my life, nor could I find any sense of peace; and yet, I was content because I was losing weight and finally felt pretty and valued. People were finally paying attention to me! Although, it was all for the wrong reasons (mainly voices of concern) but it felt nice to finally feel SEEN.
6 years ago, that all changed for me. That day, I had met with my counselor and cried for the entire time we were together, a typical Monday after school activity for me. When I got home, I received a phone call from a doctor I had visited earlier in the week. Although I didn’t know him other than the one time we had met, I could sense a lot of fear in his voice when he discussed with me that I was on the fast-track to killing myself because of how much weight I had lost in the few months prior.
The weight of that statement hit me like a ton of bricks and I think it was in that moment that I completely admitted to myself that I wasn’t okay, that this wasn’t what I had intended when I started the whole process to “look and feel better”. It was in that moment that I finally gave up whatever control I thought I had on the situation, realizing then that I had been controlled by this abusive and unhealthy mindset this whole time; I had never been the one in control. It was in that moment, through all the tears of tremendous hurt and shame that my healing finally began.
Now fast forward to today. 6 years later. I am a 22 year old, college graduate, who has some of the greatest friends, the kindest family and the sweetest boyfriend out there. I have a very special relationship with God and have finally learned to love my body for all the amazing things that it can do, no longer because I can fit into a size 0. I find meaning and value to my life by helping others and loving those around me to the best of my ability, not because I look like a runway model.
I am a success story. I know that. And I can promise you, I don’t take that for granted.
I know many individuals aren’t as lucky and are still struggling with issues from their past and for that I mourn. The thought of that is devastating. We need to invest more in those around us to ensure that everyone feels loved and cherished. Even if you’re feeling broken and you’re struggling, loving people with all you’ve got is one of the best things you can do for both parties involved, it is OUR job to ensure no one feels like they need to walk through life on their own, especially if that person is you.
However, despite the sadness that I feel I do think it’s important to celebrate that there are others like me, who have found a way out of the hurt and shame and that there is a possibility out there for us all to find that health and healing, if we’re willing to look for it. Honestly, even one life saved is enough for the fight for goodness to continue.
So today, in my own life, I celebrate the whole process because I wouldn’t be where I am today without the entirety of my story thus far in place. And I pray that someday you can honestly say that you feel that way, too.