I first developed my eating disorder at the start of high school. My parents were recently divorced, I was entering a very different stage of my life, and I was battling depression and anxiety daily. I can\’t remember exactly when I noticed I had unhealthy eating habits, but I do remember going 3 or 4 days at a time without eating. I think the amount of stress and pressure that I felt at that point caused me to feel sick and ruined my appetite. Also having such a poor opinion of myself and my body. My sophomore year I become more comfortable with eating and eventually relied on it as \”stress eating.\” I gained a lot of weight. Having this habit and my past with anorexia I would often make myself throw up after eating because having an empty stomach made me feel better. I still had a horrible view of myself and hated the way my body looked even more. This went on for two years until senior year I had someone very important walk out of my life, causing me to revert to anorexia and lose weight at a very unhealthy rate.

I started seeing a therapist my senior year of high school. This led to medications that helped with my anxiety and the discovery of my ADHD that contributed to my depression being so severe. I was also able to let out all the things I needed to say that were making me feel so overwhelmed all the time and develop healthy habits for handling everything. I felt like I had control over my life and because of that it was worth fighting for. I wanted to recover for myself. I knew I deserve to live a life without the constant anxiety over my body. I didn\’t want to suffer and miss out on great things because I hated myself. So, I started working on it, I started making changes.

My future is worth fighting for because it is one of the few things I have control over. Of course, we don\’t have complete control over what happens, but I am able to make decisions for myself that better who I am and contribute to making the world a better place. Everyone has a little bit of hero in them. If I stop fighting for my future, I stop fighting for the hero in me that wants to and is capable of doing good things and helping people. I can\’t let that happen; I can\’t give up on that part of myself. I deserve more than that.

Recovery doesn\’t mean never experiencing your eating disorder again. It means not letting it control your life. It means recognizing your beauty and worth despite all the time spent before thinking otherwise. It means accepting having an eating disorder and embracing the brave and strong and magnificent person you are because you\’ve learned to fight for yourself and overcome that obstacle. It means caring for your body and keeping it healthy because you deserve to love every inch of yourself. It means not giving in when you have a fall back and knowing it\’s one step back among a million steps forward. Recognizing that losing a fight doesn\’t mean losing the battle. I still fight with anorexia and that\’s okay. Because no matter what happens in the fights, I will always win the battle.

I am a 19-year-old white female and am very proud to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.