Dying To Be Perfect
Todays blog comes from a college student wanting to share their struggle with Anorexia in hopes of showing others how their struggles can prompt change, not only in their own life, but in the lives of others.
Dying to be perfect. That was my reality for four years. And not in a figurative sense – a literal one.
Four years wasted being unhappy with the way my body looked. Four years wasted exercising three times a day instead of hanging out with friends. Four years wasted telling myself I’d finally be happy if I just lost five more pounds. Four years wasted battling anorexia.
There were countless days I woke up thinking it could be my last. The societal pressures to look a certain way were far too overwhelming. The pressures I put on myself were even worse.
My insatiable desire to be the best version of myself coupled with the reality of unattainable perfection was too much for me to handle.
It got to a point where I was unsure of what would end my life first. Would the pressures finally become too much to handle, forcing me to end it myself? Or would my malnourished body shut down on it’s own before I even had the chance?
I vividly remember the day I walked into my therapist's office with tears streaming down my face. I told her I couldn’t fight this battle anymore. I was three years into my struggle and believed the anorexia had won.
That same day my therapist showed me a book that forever changed my life. It was called “Dying to Be Perfect” and written by Susan Barry, a mother who lost her twenty-two-year-old son, TJ, to his battle with anorexia.
Although TJ lost his life, his mother believed she had the power to save others by sharing his story. She was right.
Throughout the course of each and every one of our lives, there are going to be many struggles we each face. That is something we have no control over. What we do have control over is if we allow those struggles to define us or help us evolve. Just as Susan Barry has done, I have decided to allow my struggles with anorexia to foster growth, not only within myself, but within our society.
Being vulnerable and open about your struggles takes a lot of strength and courage, but the impact it may have on someone else is astronomical. Your struggles do not define you. In fact, they can sometimes be your biggest blessing. Remember that with every struggle you face comes with an opportunity to change you and the world around you for the better.