Author: Valery B.
What is it like to constantly be put down, to endlessly be reminded that you are not succeeding, that you are not heading in the “right direction”, that what you are doing and who you are becoming are simply not good enough?
I will tell you that it is not pleasant. Frankly, it feels like you are being buried alive and completely disregarded. When you work so diligently to achieve your goals, the last thing you want to hear is that you are not doing the right things, that you are not capable of getting anything done on your own.
This is something that applies to everything in life: school, career, friends; however, I would like to speak on it from the perspective of mental health. For the past several months, I have been reminded of how “unsuccessful” my progress towards recovery is. The closest people in my life, the ones who are supposed to be my shoulders to lean on and my hands to hold, have been deriding me and using my past as an excuse to hurt me. Whether this is something they are aware of or something that they do subconsciously, I am the person getting hurt and continuously lifting myself back up. I am the person who has to remind myself that there is only one year left before college, one year left before I am finally able to escape the life that has been eradicating my happiness for months.
Some may ask, “Why don’t you just give up? Why do you feel the need to put up with the pain? Why don’t you just run away or move out?” Indeed, these are valid questions, and I do concede that I sometimes pose them myself. There are always ways one can end his or her suffering instantaneously, without a single thought of the negative consequences that can impede afterwards; however, I strongly believe that adhering to these questions is not something one should do. There is so much more to life than the comments of those who view you as inferior and incapable. Finding happiness in a world of seemingly-interminable darkness is a not an easy task, but it is possible. One day, you will wake up with a big smile and a light spirit. You will get up, feel the sun’s rays on your skin, and know that you have won, that after all of your persistence and hard work, you have overcome everyone’s doubts and disbeliefs.
To my sceptics, I will rest my final answer on the following quote by American abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe: “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you till it seems as though you can not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Stowe brilliantly advises to persevere and never lose hope in the face of adversity, for adversity is inevitable but surely not eternal.
Therefore, I continue to work through the psychological pain because I know that I am progressing and heading in the right direction. Like a flame burning in my heart, I can feel myself beating the Eating Disorders and attaining the beautiful, ebullient, and funny girl I once was. For the first time in three years, I am enjoying every minute of school because I get to spend time with my friends and take classes that truly spark my interests. I am smiling and laughing harder than I have done in a very long time. I am going out and, overall, spending more time around people, simply because I want to. And, most importantly, I am finally eating the foods that I want, without restricting or binging. Last winter, I relapsed into bulimia and spent seven months binging/purging on a weekly basis. Several days ago, I reached my two-month bulimia free milestone, and I could not be more proud of myself. I feel that something is changing inside of me, something superbly positive and exciting. If that is not what recovery feels like or portrays itself to be, than I do not know what is!
To anyone who feels like he or she is being put down by the people around him or her, I beg to never give up and never lose hope. One day, you are going to look back on your life and say, “I am so proud of myself. I did it!”