Last day of Mental Health Awareness Month, and last day of this @youcaring #showyourscar campaign.
That first picture is Finley, a 3 year old who has Cerebral Palsy. The scar on Finley's back is from an SDR procedure, which permanently removed the spasticity in her legs.
Similar to Finley, I have a scar of my own; except mine isn't physically visible. My scar dates back to the summer of 2010, right before sixth grade. Sick of always being overweight I decided to take things upon myself to lose weight. What started out as exercising in my room before bed, and cutting out certain foods from my diet, over time turned into a full blown eating disorder that I couldn't control. Over the course of a few short months I went from eating whatever I wanted in a day, to counting every calorie and limiting myself, eating less and less each day.
The issue with eating disorders, or any mental illness for that matter, is that they can be hard to physically see. It's hard to remember that eating disorders are more than just physical, they're mental too.
Eating disorders affect everyone, regardless of weight, size, age, race, and gender. Personally, it took over my life, to the point where I could never not think about food. The constant thoughts become distractions that are hard to surpass.
I can honestly say that I haven't entirely overcome my eating disorder. There are good and bad days. But at least now I can recognize that what I am doing isn't healthy, that eating is normal, and that I shouldn't be scared of a meal.
My eating disorder may not be a physical scar that you see, but it's a scar that follows me wherever I go. Essentially, it's that little voice inside my head that I have to tell to shut up sometimes.
Sure, admitting this to others is scary, but admitting it to myself, is only a step in the right direction. I thank Finley, the 3 year old with the scar that she says "makes her strong", for inspiring the heck out of this post, and for making me realize that my scar makes me strong too.
Finally, I reach out to everyone who is currently or who has in the past struggled with any type of eating disorder. Please know you are not alone.