I was so sick mentally that I thought I’d never make it through the year. I didn’t want to make it through the year. Physically, I was falling apart and getting worse with each skipped meal, my heart just weeks from failing me. Emotionally, I was already dead. I felt nothing and I remembered nothing but calories eaten and calories avoided. I lied to everyone who cared about me, and convinced myself I was alone. I was suicidal. I had an anxiety that lived in my lungs and never let me breathe. I wore gloves in class because my ice cold hands could barely function without them. I carried my Bible around, lying to myself that I was living according to the words I read within it. I told myself I was okay, but deep down I knew I was dying.
I am participating in a National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) Walk in Tulsa, OK on February 25. I am walking to raise awareness of the disorder that took years of my life, the disorder that almost prevented me from experiencing any others. I walk to remember that girl who didn’t know her worth, and for the men and women who will never learn. I walk to encourage those who don’t want to get better, and those who think they never will. I walk to help erase the stigma surrounding the very disorder I didn’t “look” like I had. I walk to raise money to help those struggling, because every single dollar counts. I walk to shine a light on the fact that God’s grace is greater than any mental illness could ever be. I walk because I now know that while one step at a time may seem small and insignificant in recovery, that’s how you get somewhere.
I walk to remind myself how far I’ve come.
This year, I am stronger, healthier, and more myself than I have ever been. My eating disorder took my life from me, but I have taken many steps to take it back. I walk because by God’s grace, I am strong. I walk because by God’s grace, I am alive. I walk because my eating disorder has nothing on me.