If I’m being honest, I don’t know where to start this. Perhaps that’s okay. I think our lives are a work in progress, and not knowing what part of that we are in is perfectly alright.
I guess I could say it all started around the age of 14. My health began spiraling out of control, and I felt at a loss of what to do with myself in ways I never encountered before. You see, my life was never what one might call normal, and more often than not it ended up far from it.
I was born with a neuromuscular disorder, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).
This is a disease that manifests itself in ways similar to ALS, except beginning in childhood. I became accustomed to the steady decline in strength throughout my young life, but was not prepared for a steep hill in which my health plummeted down, all at once, during my first years of high school.
I felt completely out of control, as if my body was foreign and controlling itself without my choices being factored in at all.
I turned to an eating disorder to find some semblance of control within the wreckage I felt my life had become.
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I somehow believed that in keeping unhealthy restrictions on my eating habits, I could control one small aspect of my life, and feel “better” again. This wasn’t even close to the truth, and I ended up harming myself far more than any semblance of control I may have felt.
That was almost six years ago, and I’ve never truly shared my story before.
I’ve trusted a few people with snippets of it, but I’ve never truly accepted the things I put myself through as of yet. I felt that my past was a secret I couldn’t bare to share, and that my mistakes were broken pieces of myself that couldn’t be mended.
I’m finally at a point where I feel it’s okay to be honest. I’ve accepted that my past is part of what has made me who I am. I wouldn’t be the strong person I am today without my struggles with anorexia.
I wouldn’t be confident in the knowledge that I can overcome the barriers set in my path, if I hadn’t gone through these parts of my past.
Even with this knowledge, I’ve still had trouble sharing this part of my story, for fear of judgment.
Mental health is not something discussed or accepted nearly enough, and I didn’t want to be looked down on for something that was once out of my control. Until I accepted myself, I couldn’t even begin to allow others to do the same.
Today, I’m no longer ashamed of who I was, because I am confident in who I am now.
This is my story, and I’m adding to it daily. I’m adding to it from now and for always, free of shame.
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