Sometimes I imagine myself standing in the middle of a sleeping highway with only starshine to serve as my guide. I have no earthly directions to follow, but one.

Into the stars and away from the world.
Away from myself.

Depression hardens you.
It heightens all senses, intensifies pain.
I feel each crack under my foot and cringe under every glare placed upon my head.
Ironically though, I don't care.
I just want peace.

My head has become my solitary confinement from the world.
My true self doesn't speak with words, but rather with actions.
I've learned a complex language that many hope never to learn.

Through experience I've come to hate myself.
I'm pathetic and embarrassing.
Because of this, my soul dwells in a complex that I only let few near.
And even fewer, in.
I'm superficial to most.

Why can't I just be free?
My spirit longs to soar and span the world.
To flow with the wind, and crash with the waves of the sea.
To have my tears rain from the heavens and give life to lilies on the cusp of death.
To have my whispers rush across prairie grass or scatter fallen leaves on a breezy autumn day.

Physical trials leave scars upon the skin,
spiritual trials leave scars upon the heart,
and mental trials leave scars upon one's psyche,
never to fade.

A friend comforts.
A good friend listens.
A better friend understands.

Lately I've been obsessed with personality tests.
I guess I just want to find something that will pin me down.
Place me with others.
Tell me who I am.

During times like this, there really is only one direction to look,


"It started that young?"

I remember a time in early elementary school when I would stand on the toilet, and look at myself in the bathroom mirror. I would critique my appearance by saying things like, "Too bad you have such an ugly head on a decent body."

I resigned myself to never being beautiful.

Growing up, all I ever wanted was to be like my sisters, television stars and peers.
I always tried to be just like them, but I deceived myself.

Middle school brought more insecurities which I then buried beneath layers of discolored foundation and globbed mascara.

In eighth grade, I was a dress size bigger than both of my sisters, my shoe size then followed suit.

In ninth grade I cried in dressing rooms at the mall.

During my Sophomore year, I hated myself enough to "change" and eliminate all insecurity from my life.
And by change, I mean starve myself.
And by eliminate, I meant hide.

The glass house I constructed around myself shattered during the winter of my Junior year.
Suppressed insecurities rushed over me with the force of a tsunami.

I was drowning. Again.

I think that all girls are born with insecurities, it is intrinsic to our nature.
For some they wax and wane, but for many the insecurities never change.
I have yet to meet a girl who is completely comfortable in her own skin.

Although my eating disorder didn't begin until high school, the disease had been incubating in my mind since childhood.

The world is literally experiencing an ignored epidemic, but instead of defeating it, society has chosen to nurture it.

And people like me are just side-effects of an unethical experiment.

Happy Holidays!

With the holiday season finally over, I definitely feel proud of myself.  My A1c is down from 9.0 to 8.4, and I haven't binged in months.

For the past four years, I've either avoided Thanksgiving dinner or overindulged in everything placed before me; this year was different. I didn't count calories and I didn't stuff my face,  I just ate. Maybe that doesn't sound like much, but for me it was surreal, miraculous. The entire night I was waiting the floodgates to open and drown me in my eating disorder once again.

After going shopping, I went home expecting myself to at least have the desire to binge on leftover pie or stuffing, but nothing happened. I ate a piece of pie and that was it.

When I went to my doctor appointment a week later, I told  Dr. Spigorelli about what happened and he was actually just as shocked as I was. He said that he expected me to have a normal holiday dinner in maybe two years from the time he first saw me, not 8 months.

Christmas went fairly well too. I had a couple more cookies than I planned on at our family nativity party and I indulged in some treats that my parent's neighbors brought by; however, I could stop myself whenever I wanted to. I was in the front-seat, not my eating disorder. I ate those things due to my own free will, not infectious impulses.

I was able to wear size large pajamas that my Great Aunt gave me without my self-esteem taking a nose dive. I also didn't care about unflattering instances captured by cameras.

My body is attached to my soul, but it doesn't determine my spirit.

Through the tears shed and trials endured, I've come to respect who I am as an individual.
I've decided that self-control and self-esteem are gifts best given to one's self.

2013: A Year in Review

A new year symbolizes a new start and a rebirth. It can be used as a marker of progress made and motivation to continue on in various endeavors.

A year ago today I was suicidal and depressed. I had lost all hope for recovery and my future seemed bleak. My relationship with my parents was strained and I was a living lie to all of my friends. I was constantly masking my feelings and trials, hoping for a better day that I feared would never come. I was isolated and alone, my soul shrouded in constant, endless night.

I had to see a therapist every week in order to better grab hold of the reality surrounding me. Every appointment was primed by tears and filled with sorrow. I would talk about the hatred I held for my sisters and the loathing of my mother. I would cry over the fate I had been given and the misunderstandings of the world. I would empty my heart to a complete stranger.

I would constantly check out of school or be late to classes with the excuse that, "I didn't feel well". I was telling the truth, but my sickness was caused by chemical imbalances, actions taken, and overwhelming insecurities--not physical illness or Diabetes. I stopped participating in activities that once brought me joy. I purged in secret at home and in public; as a result, my eyes became bloodshot and my skin sallow.  I wore baggy clothes and pretended not to care about my appearance. In reality, I was trying to hide my body from my own scrutiny and that of others.

I went to San Francisco, had some fun. I binged on my roommates foods while they were gone. I cried on the hotel balcony for what seemed like hours. Slowly I gave up on my schooling, friends, and life. Since I didn't trust myself, I wouldn't trust anyone else.

Through my therapist, I was able to meet a doctor who specialized in eating disorders. He gave me hope, medication and valuable advice. Since then, my problems have been far from gone, but at least they're diminishing slowly, one by one. I began my first semester of college in June and the impossible started to become a possibility. The control held by my eating disorder started to dissolve, food became less of a burden and I could finally stand tall. Despite progress made, my insecurities remained (and I'm sure they'll never completely go away). I avoided pictures and mirrors;  I restrained from being myself. I did meet a dear friend though, and because of her I started to live again.

In 365 days I have become a person that I never thought I would ever be. I still get sad, I still slip up, but at least now I love who I am and appreciate where I've been.

I've learned that life should measured by the trials we have endured and risen above. I could look back at this past year and see myself as a victim, but rather, I choose to see how I became empowered by my experiences.

I am strong, but not unbreakable.

Here's to the end 2013, and the dawn of 2014.
It's a new year "with no mistakes in it yet".