Triggers: Cutting, depression, eating issues.
This is a recent picture of me, at 22. I have had body and eating issues since the ripe old age of 7 years old. I was teased mercilessly in elementary school. When I reached puberty, things got really bad. In 7th grade, I fell into a depression so bad that almost the entire year is blocked out of my memory. At the end of it, I had somehow gained about 70 lbs, adding to my already negative self image. Around 8th grade, I started cutting myself, particularly in the areas I dislike the most: my stomach and upper arms. Any comment I overheard that might possibly have been about my weight or appearance, and I would stop eating for days, until I could hardly stand up. I would tell my parents and friends I was sick. To cope with the self-loathing I felt, I immersed myself in writing escapist fiction and listening to music, often completely cutting myself off from the outside world.
Then, I began going on the internet and reading feminist and positive body image blogs and websites. Corny as it is, these two things, in addition to music and my identification with the alternative scene I was exposed to, saved me. The pain lessened. And I pulled myself up out of the self loathing into self-loving.
I just went to tell all the teenagers out there who may be going through similar experiences: IT GETS BETTER. It may always be a struggle, but it gets easier. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Triggers: Self harm, eating disorder, depression
This is me, Kait.
I was 17 when I took this picture on the left and uploaded it as my profile picture on facebook. I received a lot of comments on my new haircut, or how pretty/ fit I look. What no one knew, not even my parents or closest friends, was that I was hurting. I have always had some self esteem issue with underlying depression. I cut myself for the first time when I was 12, before I even knew what cutting was. I will never be sure what gave me the idea to do it, but I remember thinking about how disappointed in myself I was for just being me. I was awkward, bullied in school, and had recently started to feel attracted to girls… which was the last thing I needed to add to my label as a ‘freak’. Bullied throughout middle school, by the time I got to high school I had a much tougher skin. I went to an all girls school, was a member of countless clubs, and always had a boyfriend. Always. In junior year things changed when I started to date my first girlfriend. Though I was more comfortable in who I was, she had a lot of psychological issues that began to play off mine in a negative way. I went back to cutting, stopped eating, and became completely emotionless. Luckily, my parents and some of the faculty at my school caught on that something was seriously wrong and I was put into serious counseling, cut complete ties with my then girlfriend, and tried to start life over. It took a while, and I had a lot of resentment towards my parents… but with time, things healed.
I began to take better care of myself because I wanted to. I no longer cut and am a healthy weight. Every once in a while I will find myself at a low point (as I will for the rest of my life) but I now have the inner strength to fight for my own right to happiness.
For the longest time, I have looked in the mirror and have seen a monster.
Now, I can see only the truth of what I am… which is beautiful.
Warning: Self harm
My name is Libby, I am seventeen and a junior in high school. I am 5’2 and weigh 210 lbs.
I have NEVER ever been thin. My whole life I have always been a big girl. I have broad shoulders and big wrist so I have a big frame which means I’ll probably never be a tiny girl.
I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 5 and Anxiety and depression at 10. Later on I found out I had PDD which is a form of autism.
I started cutting at the age of 6. My mom said I use to bite the erasers of pencils and use the metal part to hurt myself. I don’t really remembered what triggered me to start hurting myself. I had a good life at home. I had a wonderful family. But I never had friends because I was different.
I was made fun of a lot as I went into middle school about my weight. I have never known a time when I felt comfterable in my own skin. I started to make friend and I was always the person they could come too if they needed help. I started trying to help everyone….and it caused me not to have time to take care of myself…I slowly fell into a very bad depressed state. In 8th grade the cutting got worse. I had my first serious relationship at 15 and that ended badly.
By high school I had many friends. I always came to school with a smile. But I was truly never happy. My weight and nonexistent self esteem was in the way. I left my high school the beginning of my junior year and starting going to a private school. I have never been so happy. It’s horrible though that I had to give up my prom, my graduation, my senior year just so I could be happy for once.
I have a dream of being on broudway…but becasue of my size I am afraid to try. I have been singing for years. Music is what has kept me alive. I love to act. I have been in threatre for years. It helped me alot because I get to be someone other than myself.
I want to stop putting myself down. I want to feel beautiful for once. So today and every day I will wake up and tell myself I am beautiful.