Trigger warning: Self harm, eating disorders
All my life I was a little overweight, but I was neverfat. I just let other people convince me that I was. All throughout elementary school I felt like an outcast. I felt like my classmates were judging me because I had a little extra meat on my bones. I felt like the fat girl. The ugly girl. The weird girl no one wanted to be friends with. I was extremely insecure with myself, so I started to bully other people to make them feel as low as I did. I thought that if I put myself above other people, then kids at school would start to like me, and I wouldn’t feel like an outcast anymore. But that idea came to an end as soon as eighth grade began.
Two boys harassed my relentlessly. They mooed when I walked by. They nicknamed me Mary Cowhar and Garbage Girl. They made sure that my life was a living hell. I let them convince me that I was worthless. I let them make me believe that I really was fat and disgusting; I let them make me hate myself.
When high school came around I decided I wasn’t going to be the fat girl anymore. I lost myself in a deep depression and an obsession with losing weight. I went on crazy crash diets, and started working out by myself every day. I had a rule that I could eat no more than 500 calories a day, and I couldn’t eat anything after 5:00. If I ate more than I allowed myself I would take laxatives to flush it all out. My grades started slipping because I just didn’t care. All I wanted was to be accepted. I didn’t want people to have a reason to make fun of me anymore. I wanted to be perfect.
I had tried self harming once or twice before high school, but during my freshman year it became one of my biggest vices. It became my release. My escape. Whenever I was angry, I would cut. Whenever I felt worthless, I would punish myself. Whenever I felt numb, I would beat emotion into me. I was so lost in my own depression and insanity that I had no concept of the world around me.
It wasn’t until a friend saw how much danger I was in did I started to get help. My friend referred me to a medical clinic in my school where I could get medical attention and talk with a social worker instead of taking my problems out on myself. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was 14 and although I was never officially diagnosed, I was at severe risk of being hospitalized for anorexia.
I spent my sophomore and junior years in a blur. My therapy caused me to face some of the hardest criticism of my life, all from my biggest enemy, myself. I wanted to give up. I wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out. I wanted to be happy, but I was scared of the journey I had to take to get there.
Last year, at my one of my lowest moments, I carved the word “Fuck” into my side. It’s one of the only highly visible scars I have left
Even though it was hard, it was all worth it. Because now, in my senior year, I can finally look in the mirror and feel confident. I am finally at peace with myself and who I want to be. I’ve only had two slip-ups with self harming since my “fuck” incident, and I have no intention of doing so in the future. I have reinvented myself. It was a long and emotionally draining battle, but I got through it. Even now every day is a struggle to stay positive and not let the negativity get to me, but I’m trying my best. Of course I have my days, but who doesn’t?
I want you all to know that no matter what anyone else says to you, all that matters is what you say to yourself. Look in the mirror every morning and say to yourself “I am beautiful.” Don’t let anyone control you like I did.
Be confident in who you are, and everything will fall into place.