Then And Now: An Eating Disorder Transformation

Then And Now: An Eating Disorder Transformation


There is a common misbelief that having an eating disorder is choice. People think that those who have an eating disorder “just decide” to binge, not eat, throw-up, or over-exercise. This is NOT the case. Eating disorders are mental illnesses that drive girls and boys to there very last breath. The severities of these illnesses are no joke and people need to start becoming more aware of the danger that resides within our culture and the way we reward starvation. In high school, I developed a terrible body image that led me to a very dangerous point in my life. I’m beyond happy to say that part of my life is over and I have found peace and serenity within myself. The thoughts, actions, and emotions that fled through my body then, versus the ones that do now, are unbelievably different.

Written during recovery:

The torture and the pain and every microsecond of a bad feeling can be encased into a hidden expression on a face, and it's scary. People don’t know what’s going on and they don’t ask…you’re smiling. And I think that’s the problem. Too often we hide behind the things we don’t like to see, hear, confront, or uphold. Too often we run away to be alone with thoughts, dangerous thoughts to say the least. A smile only holds true value when it’s a real smile, and the even scarier part is you start to think that it is. You tell yourself that you’re happy; you say it one hundred times over and over again until it’s physically exhausting. You say it with every ounce of true happiness left in you, and once the real happiness is gone…the magical, astonishing, miraculous kind of happiness disappears, you exist. That’s it, nothing more, and there’s no part enjoyable about it. Each step and breath and blink and beat of your heart aches. The desire to live is gone, vanished. I isolated myself from all of my friends and family to be alone with me, myself and my thoughts. I believed, and I mean truly, genuinely, believed, everything was right in the world as I watched it crumble beneath my very own two feet.

Written now, post recovery:

Yes, I am recovered, but no, it was not easy. In fact, easy is the absolute last word I would EVER use to describe my recovery. Words I would use? Frustrating, depressing, mortifying, violent, chaotic, and gruesome. And those are the words I thought of off the top of my head. When I say I went to hell and back, that doesn’t even cover half of it. Each day was spent in tears, and each night consisted of violent episodes, the details are not necessary. What is necessary to know is that, at the end of the day, here I am. Speaking with you, alive, upbeat, appreciative, and most importantly, happy. I'm grateful for what I went through. Which may be the most messed up conclusion I've come to…but also the most honest. I've learned through my own experiences, how to judge others based on the inside rather than the outside, because that’s essentially what matters. I’ve learned to love myself, in every way shape and form possible. I've become sympathetic and understanding of people that are going through problems in their own lives. I’ve learned that you must do things for yourself like listen to music, take bubble baths, enjoy nature, go on long walks, and drive around for hours and sing. Light candles, read a good book, write a journal, and study something you’ve always wanted to learn about. Catch up with old friends, draw, and take naps. Ultimately, do what you love and do what makes you happy. That is something no one will ever be able to take away from you. You are the only person who decides and controls your happiness. Don’t you dare ever give that power to someone else.

Although my experience was unique, the occurrence of eating disorders is far too common to be ignored. Even though you may be a single individual, do something about it. You can make all the difference.

Cover Image Credit: Eastern Kentucky University

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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5 Tips on Rushing a Sorority

How to get through Recruitment at a huge University


Coming into a huge public university and enduring the stress of Sorority Recruitment was an extremely daunting and stressful experience. But now being on each side of the spectrum there are a lot of tips and tricks I found that may ease the nerves of women who want to rush. The idea of talking to tons of women for days on end is for sure very pressuring but is not how the experience should be. These tips were made to show that the process is a two-way street and not as scary as it may seem.

1. Present yourself in an authentic way

There are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to being in a sorority and one of the main ones is that sorority girls are fake. I find this to be quite the opposite. A huge part about being in a sorority is their philanthropy and how it brings all the girls together. The last thing an organization needs is a woman who is not passionate about what they devote so much time to and pretends to be someone they are not. Being yourself and being vulnerable is a very admirable quality and will make you stand out.

  2. They are just as nervous as you.

Going through Recruitment for the first time can be extremely daunting and overwhelming. A group of girls greet you screaming chants with huge smiles on their face can be intimidating but being on the other side is just as scary. As a member of a sorority it is part of your duty to recruit members that will make a positive and impactful addition to the huge group of girls. You want every girl that comes through your room to feel at home and welcomed and like they can open up and share who they are. As a Potential New Member but also as a Member the pressure is on so you're not alone.

3. Dress comfortably

As much time as I spent stressing about what I was wearing when I went through Recruitment I suggest avoiding making this your main focus. Presentation and how you appear is important but does not hold a candle to your character and how you present yourself facially. If you are wearing 5-inch stilettos and your feet are killing you it can definitely distract your attention away from the women you are speaking to and onto your discomfort. Sorority Rush is also a very lengthy process where you will be standing for hours on end and want to be dressed for that.

 4. It’s a conversation not an interview

One of the fears I had going into rush was being able to answer the questions thrown at me. But as I actually went through the process I found this to be very much not the case. The point of this experience is to have conversations with the women you meet to gauge if you would get along with women of their caliber. Not to say all the women are the same but value-based conversations can flow very well if the values of the sorority that the women emulate, and your own, match. The interaction should be natural and feel easy, don't rush or try to talk too much or too little.

  5. Your choice should be based on you

It was very stressed that your decision about which sorority you join should be based off of your experience throughout the rush experience with each sorority. You should not consult other women rushing about your decision because it is strictly a choice that will impact you. At the end of the day, I made my choice based on where I saw myself fitting in the best. I set aside any biased I had about which sorority seemed, "the best," because it was simply about choosing a home where I could be myself.

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