This I Believe

Jill - richboro, Pennsylvania
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

In all honesty I wish I could say that growing up in my small suburb outside of Boston has shaped me into the person I always wanted to be, but that wouldn’t be the truth. Its funny how you don’t realize the person you have become before it is too late, and then all these moments that seemed isolated at the time have added up one by one to make you realize you’re unhappy. You never realized how bad they were going to affect your future.

I grew up in a bubble, where what people wore and how they acted were the most important things to society, I was brought up to value appearance. This may seem like the description of most high schools I know, but why is that how it should be? More then anything I value trust, however I have none which is why it is so important to me. If a person can earn my trust it means the friendship is something special. I have been stabbed in the back so many times by girls I considered my best friends that I have turned cynical. We have learned through society that being better than people will make us happy. So I have learned to be shallow and judgmental, two qualities I don’t like in myself but it’s the only way I know.

We have learned from the media what society values as important, why we idolize the people we do. Celebrities are viewed as royalty, and we watch their every move for what is attractive and appealing to us. One huge factor in this is the desire to be thin. Society and the media have had such an impact on me that I am one of the millions of girls suffering with eating disorders. When I was younger I took for granted my body type, I was in shape because I did gymnastics every day. Then I quit, hit puberty and things just changed from there. When I was 14 I began what seemed to be just a temporary thing but turned into 5 years of suffering. Food to me seems like a comfort, something that I can control its outtake; however I have no control over the intake. What starts as one bowl of cereal turns into a long downhill slope until I have eaten the entire contents of my refrigerator. The thing is I know where it ends once I begin consuming things that I would usually go out of my way to avoid and by that point it’s too late to turn back. Why would somebody with so much to look forward put herself through pain? I can’t have the calories in me; I can’t have people know because society wants you to be thin, but frowns upon any attempt that works to maintain this. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to, I know what I’m capable of, I have a routine, I have timed every one of my roommates schedule to know how long I have the apartment to myself, I have tricks to hide it, it’s just too easy. I do know the consequences but society allows me to believe that they are worth it to be accepted in society. In trying to end this essay about my beliefs and values I realize there is no end right now, because it would be a lie to say I have changed fully and resolved my problem, but the truth is that this is a personal battle I need to overcome on my own.