Never, Ever Give Up

Patricia - Orange Park, Florida
Entered on November 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Tenacity, perseverance, patience, commitment: all are examples of my character. My life has not been easy, but if it was then it would not be called life…right? I have dealt with a lot over the past three years, but I have had the courage, dynamism, and puissance to overcome all obstacles.

The summer of 2005 I moved with my mom to the United States from Puerto Rico leaving behind my family, my friends, my life. I had to adjust to a completely different way of living: new school, new friends, and a new language. It was under all these pressures that I became really depressed since I believed I didn’t fit in and everyone looked down on me. To gain back control of my life I fell into horrible eating habits, I fell into obsessive thoughts of food and of my body, I fell into a dreadful disease.

Anorexia nervosa, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, causes at least 1000 people diagnosed to die each year; luckily, I’m still alive. During my struggle with Anorexia I restricted what I ate to a point in which food and calories became my worst enemies. I recall counting calories, crying in front of the mirror, stuffing my mouth with the Ensure shakes I had to take twice a day and spitting it out in the bathroom, hiding food in my napkin and then throwing it away. These actions showed my desperation and strive for what I imagined was perfection. As it got out of control, my weight dropped to a low 83 pounds; I was fourteen years old. My mom sought medical help: I began to meet with a psychologist and a nutritionist on a weekly basis. They guided me through new and healthy eating habits, new and healthy thoughts, a new and healthy life, but it was with my own indomitable, tenacious and persevering personality that I was victorious in putting an end to the disease that was eating my life away.

Experiencing the agony, consternation, and sadness of my illness made me realize what I can do to help others going through the same suffering; I aspire to become a psychiatrist — a psychiatrist specialized in eating disorders.

I don’t think I will ever feel as successful and invincible as I do right this moment; while writing this essay my face has a smile that sparkles, a smile nonexistent in my past. I feel immensely proud to have triumphantly recovered. I am certain that I can take on any challenge. I am ready to succeed in life. Like Bernadette Devlin said, “Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.” This I believe, I believe that the obstacles in our lives only make us stronger.