CJ s Story
"My life is a puzzle piece, and the pieces that make it up are not beautiful. These pieces include abuse, anorexia, depression, and anxiety. They all fit together and they have made me who I am today. What people see on the exterior are nowhere close to who I am as a person.
I look in the mirror every day and hate the reflection looking back at me. I walk through life with huge barriers, because for years I was physically and verbally bullied. I have never been able to call a place my home because everywhere is unsafe. I am constantly on edge from my depression and anxiety.
After years of feeling unsafe, I finally felt loved and cared for. I became best friends with a girl from my school, and became like a sister. Her mother and father became mine. I spent every day after school at their house, and if I ever needed something, I would call up her mom because I knew that she would pick me up to save me.
When I got to high school, I felt like I was losing her, and I could not handle it. I broke down because, to me, I lost another family member. My life felt like it was worthless because no one loved me. I felt utterly and completely lost. It seems silly to think about it now, but it was something as simple as feeling like I was losing her that made me anorexic.
I started off by going to the gym every single day and followed a strict diet consisting of one cliff bar a day and no food after 6pm. Eventually I lost about 20 pounds and dropped from a size 8 to a size 2. At the time I was also an equestrian and rode almost every day, sometimes I would have to get off my horse because I felt like I was about to faint.
I think the saddest part is that other girls from my school would come up to me saying 'Oh my god how did you lose all that weight. You look so great'. These girls thought that my unhealthy body looked perfect… that’s what made me realize it wasn’t right. My obsession with counting how many bites I took before swallowing food, and feeling my hands shake knowing it was from not giving my body enough nutrients wasn’t okay.
Luckily, I was one of the few that woke up from this disease and didn’t want it to take over my life. It was also the help of my boyfriend at the time; he would force me to eat even when I told him I wasn’t hungry. With his help, part of me in the inside started to wake up and say 'Okay I can have some food'. He really helped me fight the battle and I don’t think he really knows how much of a hero he really means to me.
Currently, I am a senior in college. When people asked me why I went so far away from home for school, it’s because I needed to get away from the old me. If I never left home, I don’t think I would be the (somewhat) healthy person I am today. I still suffer from depression and anxiety every day brought on from the bullying. Somedays I think that if I stopped eating, my life would be better again. Or even worse there have been times that I contemplated ending my life.
My life is a rollercoaster, and I never know how I will be when I wake up. Sometimes I am irritable and others I am happy. The good thing is, I love rollercoasters. I try to surround myself with positive people, and always try to have a positive outlook on things.
It doesn’t work all the time and, although one day may really suck, I know the next might be better. With the help of my mother, I saw a therapist. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety my freshman year of college. If it was not for my mother, I would have never had the courage to find a therapist on my own."