Understanding why I share
The story of who I am, why I am the way I am, and what I've been through is ever changing and developing on a daily basis. Over a year ago, I started sharing more vulnerable posts on my Instagram about my experiences with mental health. The purpose behind this decision stemmed from my wanting to be more authentic and transparent with those around me, and really take ownership of who I am - unfiltered.
Though only taking a fraction of my life in duration, the story of my struggles with an eating disorder has arguably been one of my most influential and transformative experiences. It was through this incredibly painful time that I was able to develop the mental strength and self awareness necessary to help me grow and step into the most authentic version of myself. Learning to be transparent in my recovery taught me the power of personal testimony and vulnerability, and shaped my eagerness to work in the clinical field from an empathetic, patient-centered approach.
My entire life has been an unending search and struggle to feel safe in my body. My history of body image issues, rooted in my lack of self esteem or sense of self, defined my thoughts, behavior, and quality of life for over a decade.
I spent years of my life living by oppressive rules and abusive thoughts and struggled with constant feelings of shame, guilt, and worthlessness. Dieting and exercising was both a symptom and a problem in itself, a way to cope with life while frantically responding to culturally induced body insecurity. For me, what started off as a simple diet quickly set off a completely different reward and motivation system driven by compulsions and anxiety than logic. Restricting and exercising no longerjust filled the purpose of wanting to lose weight, but became a means by which I used to cope with life. They were a way to punish myself when I felt guilty, internalize my anger, and avoid pain and sadness. The worst part about my eating disorder was the compulsion and anxiety that fueled it. I knew when I was being illogical, but yet I couldn't help but act in the ways I did.
My eating disorder brought me to multiple treatment centers, in Los Angeles, Florida, and North Carolina. I have seen firsthand the positive effects of psychotherapy and would like to be at the forefront of the research and treatment that will make a meaningful difference. Through my experiences in treatment, I not only developed an interest in Clinical Psychology as a profession, but met lifelong friends. I met a number of my best friends in treatment centers, and the ways we were immediately able to connect and support each other allowed me to see the importance of social support and environment. These meaningful and authentic connections inspired me to bring the same self awareness and reflection into my older relationships, and I was amazed to see how this transformed my relationships.
My experiences with mental health allowed me to cultivate the strength and self awareness to be where I am today, and be exactly who I am today. I have never wanted to come across as inauthentic, entitled, or like I believe I am qualified to give/share advice from the lessons I've personally learned. In writing and creating art, I am able to find peace and find a sense of purpose. This, coupled with the positive feedback I received over the years from my Instagram posts, inspired me to create this platform to reach more people but also continue my healing through writing.
My story might be another redemption sequence where I transformed my suffering into positive-affective life scenes that served to redeem and justify my life. But I know I am not alone in my struggles with body image, lack of self worth, and numerous other insecurities. I hope that my writing offers insight into the numerous lessons I've learned through my journey, and can create a community or resource for you to heal from whatever you are working through. I wish that I had access to all the resources, knowledge, and support that I have now, and I believe that accumulating all of this knowledge allowed me to choose recovery consistently, kept me strong, and pushed me to fight against my mind until it brought me here. I hope to convey that, regardless of your story and struggles, you are not alone, you are exactly where you need to be.
You are exactly who you were meant to be.
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