I wanted something different, something big and grand to happen to be. My life felt like it was falling apart and I needed something to distract me, to get away. I thought if something great, big and fantastic just happened, I could forget about everything else. Instead I found myself another way to get away . It was spring break when the disorder first surfaced. It started as simple as eating better, no junk food, ever. I was constantly looking at myself in the mirror, reading recipes online, counting calories, denying myself food at times. I thought of myself as strong. Now I see myself as weak. I always thought I was smarter then an eating disorder but it came so silently I barely knew it.
Fatigue was hitting me at all times of the day and I woke up feeling hopeless, depressed and thinking if I just got thinner, I’d get better. I hated myself, I hated hating myself. Each day I became weaker and weaker, finding new ways to hide food and throwing out lies that I had already ate; just standing up was a struggle, I almost fainted every time. My body couldn’t handle laughing and I found it hard to be truly happy which led me farther and farther down into anorexia.
That summer, my sister gave birth to her first daughter, the first granddaughter and my first niece. When the day came, and I held her in my arms for the first time, but I felt nothing. I had watched as my sister gave birth to this little bundle but I was blank. My body was so numb, so weak, I couldn’t feel any emotion holding her. I just started down at the sleeping baby, not thinking, that I was going to watch her grow for the rest of my life.
I finally went into treatment two weeks before I was suppose to go back for senior year, by then my stomach was bruised from all the constant pinching I would do, my heart was slowing down but it still wasn’t enough. I never knew that treatment was going to be so hard. I had my ups and downs but I was improving. I suddenly realized one day, as I looked into the eyes of my niece, how beautiful she was. I couldn’t believe the human my sister and her husband created. My sister wrote me a note, from the narrative of her daughter. It was then that I knew I had to get better for her. Whenever I wanted to go back, I’d think of the smile on her face when I’d make her laugh and stepped forward. Being an aunt has changed my life. Watching her grow, keeps me going towards recovery everyday. I never knew I could love a baby so much, something so small and so simple. The greatest things come in the smallest packages. This I believe.
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