Ashley s Story

Clemson, South Carolina USA

'

"I'll just lose 5 pounds...

 

That's how it all started before it spiraled out of control. Then, it was just I'll lose 5 more, and 5 more, and 5 more.....

 

Then, I just wanted to be empty.

 

I was a freshman in high school. I was supposed to be going to football games, watching movies with friends, and worrying about what dress I would wear to the Homecoming dance, but instead I was worried about how many calories I had consumed and burned.

 

In one month, I lost 25% of my bodyweight. I really don’t remember much from my freshman year of high school, possibly because my brain was starved. Or maybe because I was so consumed with thoughts about food. Or maybe I was just trying to block everything out.

 

The two things I remember most are: when a doctor on-call came into my hospital room to tell me that I was consuming less calories than a 2 pound baby she had seen that morning in the NICU and when my little brother asked my social worker if I was going to die.

 

Everyone around me, myself included, thought that once I got out of treatment, I would be completely recovered. The truth is even 6 years later, every day is a struggle.

 

I just hope that by sharing my story, it will give someone hope when they need it most. It’s a long road to recovery, but I am finally seeing the light at the end of tunnel."

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