Towards the Light
The most mentally draining task is constantly pretending you’re “fine,” when in reality, you are drowning. Putting on this facade of happiness and perfection may seem like the right thing to do because it’s protecting your loved ones from truly seeing your hurt, but it’s not. It may seem easier to avoid your problems, to hide your struggles, to relieve others of this “burden,” but it’s not. In truth, the most compassionate thing we can do for for both ourselves and those we care about is confiding in them before the problem spirals into a full-on catastrophe. By continuously closeting our internal negativity, we are only feeding into our disorders. It’s what our eating disorder wants….to isolate ourselves until we are utterly alone, until it is the only force that has the power to influence our actions. Never satisfy this backwards wish.
It was about five months before my parents found out about my disorder. In that time frame, I attempted to face my mental illness alone, a task that is all the more daunting without external help. I had to continually slap a photo-shopped smile on my face, feigning an aura of positivity and internal calm. I thought I was doing everyone else a favor, for how could I bear to tell my parents the tragic truth? How could I dare to bring tears to my mother’s face by telling her that I was starving, that I was slowly fading away? How could I distress them greatly with this horrifying news when they had done so much for me throughout my 11 years of life? I thought I was doing the right thing—I thought I was preventing hearts from breaking and tissues from wasting—but I wasn’t. In fact, my parents would have found out eventually because my problem wasn’t going away anytime soon….Eating disorders strive on shadiness, so telling them sooner, before the physical and mental tolls manifested, would have meant that I could start immersing myself in the healing process before the water I was sinking in grew deeper and darker. I might have been able to recover faster, to cut down the nights my parents spent crying softly as they attempted to fall asleep.
Thus, concealing your struggles with food and body image is never a good option. Although it may seem scary to admit that you need help, the alternative is far more harrowing. When it comes to choosing between starting on your path towards recovery or living alone in an increasingly dark world, know that by opting for the former, the frigid winds of winter will eventually die down, commencing a warmer & more joyous future. Know that by opting for the former, you will once again feel the sun soaking through your pores, lightening your soul. Know that by opting for the former, you will grow more in fortitude, in heart, and in strength than you ever thought was humanly possible.