Dr. Ryder UW20
The Power of Healing Through Revealing
I believe that uncovering heart-wrenching experiences, no matter how painful or controversial they are, exposes truth and reality.
I am passionate about a lot of issues, but today, nothing seemed good enough. I have spent the last five years of my life feeling that nothing was good enough. I strived and searched for perfection, yet always came up short. My obsession with perfection soon manifested itself into a dangerous eating disorder and severe depression.
With the pressures, mostly self-imposed, of being a great ballet dancer and efforts to attain an impossible sense of perfection, I developed an eating disorder at the young age of thirteen. I struggled all through high school, trying to get control of my body and my state of mind. No matter how hard I tried, my life continued to spiral downward uncontrollably. I had periods of insomnia then constant, deep sleep. One good day meant five bad days that immediately followed. My body was frail. My spirits were without hope. I couldn’t dance or eat, and the simple task of getting out of bed became unbearable. The decision to ask for help came on a day that I vaguely remember. I uttered faint words to my mother, and I was in the hospital days later.
From my experiences with bulimia, depression, and recovery, I look at both life and myself differently. Revealing my personal battles to doctors, friends, and family have helped the recovery process. I remember sitting in my therapist’s office and telling my story out loud. I was hearing my voice, my words, and needing to pause and take in that this was actually reality, my reality. Perfection is not defined as the skinniest, the smartest, or the strongest anymore. Rather, perfection is never being satisfied with my own personal accomplishments. Yet, letting go of perfection does not mean letting go of my drive and motivation. I have learned to balance the desire for excellence and the need to take time for myself. I hope that my story will inspire young girls to share their pain, rather than keep it tucked away. I believe that telling my story helped me redefine perfection and lay a foundation for healthy healing and restored pride. This I believe.
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