I was a dancer and wish I could say that I still am. My one passion became my ultimate demise. For thirty hours a week, I stared into a mirror wearing a black leotard and black tights with a perfectly-combed bun. We all looked the same, but I couldn’t help to see how I differed. I did not like how my stomach hung out a little farther and how my hourglass figure wasn’t a little tighter. It did not surprise me when I always received the most modest costume, my coaches acted as if I didn’t notice. Actions soon became words. My coaches would imply the need for us, me, to watch what we were eating because competition season was around the corner.
My friends began to express concern for me senior year and I found excuses to make them stop talking. Although I did not want them involved, they have become my biggest supporters. They never really knew how sick I was, I did not want them to. Telling my family was the first key step in recovery. After three years, I admitted to having a disease. I became sick of living my life how I was. I wanted the thoughts in my head to go away forever. It was demoralizing looking into the mirror some days and those days needed to be over. My sister was my biggest advocate from that point on. She got it, all of it. She understood why I was feeling the way I was and knew that I needed help. With my parents help, I found a therapist that worked for me. I would not be on the road to recovery without her guidance. She has helped me to understand why I feel the way I do and how that then contributed to my development of an eating disorder. I stopped dancing for a while because the environment was toxic to me, I had to detach myself. There is still passion inside of me for dance as it was my way of expressing my emotions and telling stories.
I have dreams. I have goals. Both involve me being happy. I was fake happy with the “skinny” me. I have relationships that need to be built and some that need to rebuilt. The future is unknown, which is scary, but I deserve to be happy. I have one life, that’s it. I will fight to make it a life well worth living for.
I am a sophomore in college and in the early stages of recovery.