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When I was 13…

*TRIGGER WARNING FOR THOSE STRUGGLING WITH DEPRESSION, SELF-HARM, EATING DISORDERS OR SUICIDAL IDEATION*

When I was 13, I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know that my unrealistic goal of weighing a mere 90 pounds at my height was extremely unhealthy. I didn’t know that the lack of food and overconsumption of fiber and stolen weight-loss pills would later cost me. I didn’t know that the compulsion to throw up after eating the slightest amount of food would become a subconscious defense mechanism that I would struggle for years to beat.

At 13, I didn’t understand that hurt people hurt people and I didn’t have to take it out on myself because I felt isolated and alone. I didn’t understand that self-harm was only destroying me more. I didn’t understand that sneaking into the kitchen late at night to take my brother’s full prescription of ADHD medication wouldn’t end my pain there, it would only begin a long list of consequences for myself and my loved ones. I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand.

Running away from my problems seemed like the easiest way to rid the pain, but little did I know, those problems would follow me around wherever I went. Even living 1,500 miles away, each of my issues would only grow and transform into something much bigger, something much more difficult to conquer. You see, even at 15 I didn’t understand that in order to move on from such a traumatic past, I had to heal; and in order to heal, I had to actually feel my emotions rather than use negative coping mechanisms and vices to distract from them.

At 22, even after 4 years in college and those years free from self-harm, medication, and horrible coping mechanisms, I didn’t understand that school was my distraction. My need for perfection got me Honors, academic awards, and so many things to be proud of, but cost me those years in healing. In finding myself. In loving myself. After losing that distraction, each and every one of my deep, unresolved issues would later come to bite me in the ass. All the hurt and all the pain that was buried so deep inside would take years to come out.

Now at 24, I might not understand much, but I do understand my worth. I do understand that I had to go through each and every traumatic experience to build me up. Every mean word said, every bully who strived to break me down completely, everyone who hurt me, myself included, would only make me stronger and add to my passion and purpose of using my testimony to help others’ heal.

So I dedicate this post to those who suffer in silence. I dedicate this post to those who have been through hell and back, yet keep fighting. I dedicate this post to those who are invalidated in their struggles because they’re “too pretty” or they have a loving, caring family, so “why in the world would they want feel this way?”. I dedicate this post to anyone who feels ashamed of their mental health.

THIS IS ME. I AM NOT ASHAMED OF WHO I AM OR WHAT I’VE BEEN THROUGH. I AM STRONG, I AM RESILIENT. THIS IS ME.

You are validated in everything you feel babygirl. You are not alone. Keep fighting, I’ll be here when you need someone to lean on. Blessings, xo 

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