Stories empower and enlighten us, helping us realize something within ourselves. These women have seen the darkness of an eating disorder and now are seeing the light of recovery. Read these powerful stories about powerful women who have the courage to face their future without an eating disorder. If you feel compelled to share your story too, there is an e-mail it in to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dying to be thin
“I know I look beautiful, but my sister sitting next to me is a size zero and I am a size two. If I don’t eat lunch today and for the rest of the week, I can see it flowing around my legs and my date dipping me while we dance, and I smile to myself. I need to fit into my dress, its just one week of not eating is what I tell myself. I drop my plate of food in the trash and go to change into clothes for the gym. Three hours later I have finished an intense work-out and I am feeling faint. I lie down to rest before I begin my homework.
Several hours later I am awoken by my roommate who is slightly concerned for me. She says I look sick, I grumble, get up and shower. I know the first day of the diet is the hardest and I push through.
Formal arrives and my dress looks beautiful, at least that is what I think as I look in the mirror and can feel the hunger pains I am ignoring. But when I get to formal, one of my sisters comes up to me and asks me what my secret to staying thin is. Beaming, I tell her working out. But as we are dancing I feel faint, like I can hardly move. My date asks me if I am okay, if I need something to eat. I say I am fine. But he doesn’t believe me. He tells me my dress is hanging off me and I look as if I am going to pass out any minute.
Another of my sisters takes my hand and pulls me into the bathroom. She pulls out of her purse a Chewy bar, saying, “Something to hold you over until the morning.”
As I eat it, she then tells me quietly how I look sick and how beautiful I am when I am healthy. ‘Sisters are the mirrors that let me see me,’ you sing these words weekly, now listen to them. I think you are more beautiful when you look like a healthy women and not like a sickly child. As I protest with what the other sister said, she quiets me and insists that I see the school counselor next week or she will call my mother. I guess the fear in my eyes told her I understood, but was too scared to do anything about it.
The following week I went with her to the counselor. Even though I am on the road to recovery, it is hard when I seem to get mixed signals from sisters complimenting my thinness and ability to not eat every meal. But I realize I need to be the mirror for them and show them how recovery is possibly and healthiness can be achieved.”
-A University of Florida Phi Mu