Community Stories

Devyn: Free from the Influence of Others

I no longer let my depression or anxiety influence my behavior. I no longer self harm or use other negative coping mechanisms. I no longer let my fear of food, my weight, or my appearance be reasons not to eat.

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I’m Devyn. I’m 24, and I am free from influence.

Now when that word first comes to mind, I think of drugs, alcohol, or some other kind of addiction. Well, I have struggled with a type of addiction in the past: self-harm, along with depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder. I’ve been in the hospital, psych ward, and treatment too many times to count.

Devyn: Free from Influence | Libero Magazine

However, I am happy, alive, and living my life for me. I am free.

When I talk about influence I mean I’m no longer influenced by others, for the most part.

There is a limit I set on influence.

For many years, well, most of my life, I let others influence what I did, thought, my relationships, and even what I ate or didn’t ate.

I let others influence me to not believe in God, then believe in God, and every aspect of my life. I think part of the reason I was always in the hospital or treatment was because I was giving up my control over my life.

Influence is not by any means always a bad thing.

It is important to have values, morals, and faith. Often those are influenced by people closest to us. Good or bad though, I ultimately had to take control.

God is the only one I really let influence me and my actions in life.

Otherwise, I am in control.

I no longer let the comments, good and bad, of others influence me. If I believe in God and my family is atheist, I am going to stand my ground. If I want to be friends with someone others don’t approve of or simply don’t like, I will do what I believe in.

I control my own life. This by no way means I am disrespectful, ignore others, or judge. I simply do what is best for me in the end. I don’t care about what others are going to think if I have that piece of candy, skip the gym for the week, or believe in something that others don’t.

I no longer let my fears impact me.

I no longer let my depression or anxiety influence my behavior. I no longer self-harm or use other negative coping mechanisms. I no longer let my fear of food, my weight, or my appearance be reasons not to eat.

Food is fuel, and food (and water) are necessary to survive and essential to be happy. I’ve had too many struggles for far too long. I’ve let those struggles isolate me as I didn’t feel worthy to hang with friends. I’ve let them hold me back from opportunities in my career.

I’ve been in the grips of influence from one source or another for over 20 years!

I think the influence others have on our lives can be good.

But when others’ beliefs, comments, or input controls what I do or how I react, then that’s where I draw the line. It is my life. I will live it for me.

With it being my life, free from influence, I can finally be me!

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