I always had a lucid image of what I wanted to become. Having had everything in my life planned out; I believed everything would go according to that plan. What I did not know is that life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. Clearly, I did not know what I was getting myself into by not eating; I was getting myself into an eating disorder that would shortly take over my life. I let anorexia nervosa consume me, and I let it take my life away from me. I missed out on memories, experiences, and my second semester of junior year. Having always adored school; it broke my heart that I could not attend for half a year. The moment I had the opportunity to finish my high school, I made a promise to myself that I would not let anyone, or anything, take from my education. Facing an eating disorder helped me determine my purpose in life. My goals are to grow intellectually as an individual and achieve my dreams of becoming a psychiatrist. My eating disorder made me realize learning and informing myself about nutrition is important; educating myself taught me how to manage my eating disorder. Overall, education is a way to expand horizons and knowledge, which leads to development.

On the first day of my junior year, I put on a fake smile and acted as if everything was fine, but I felt as if there was a vicious monster that was spreading like wildfire inside of me. I was aware that I had an eating disorder, but I just did not know what to do about it. A few times I attempted to recover on my own; however, it felt as if I was losing something important when I stopped my atrocious behaviors. The sense of control my eating issues gave me is what I enjoyed. I controlled what I consumed, when I exercised, and what my body looked like. I enjoyed the feeling and results of my disorder because it made me feel as if I could control something in my life. Never had I ever felt as if I had a sense of control with school, but it was always important to me. I always attempted to strive for perfection with my schoolwork. For the first few weeks of school, I was able to manage, but my eating disorder started to take an enormous toll on my life. Being so fixated on the way my body looked instead of my schoolwork resulted in me doing poorly in school. As weeks passed my grades got lower and lower, and so did my self-esteem. I did not want to leave my house at all which resulted into severe depression.

My parents started to become tremendously worried about me. I was not eating, and I would start bawling if someone would comment about my weight. I was confined to my bedroom and would stay in there all day when I arrived from school. I would not converse with anyone at school; I would isolate myself from all my friends. While I was walking to my AP Chemistry class, I felt very lightheaded. I ended up fainting at school; the school nurse called an ambulance and the paramedics took me to the Emergency Department. My parents found out about my eating disorder, and I was placed into an inpatient eating disorder unit.

Once I was medically stable, I arrived at the inpatient facility. The paramedics led me to my room, and I sat on the bed. Sitting there shivering and crying all night I started to lose myself. I could not believe I let my eating disorder get this far. I thought I was not worthy of getting help. I believed I deserved what was happening to me; however, as the days went by I started to accept the help. I made progress every single day. I was starting to miss school and my old life; I wanted to get out of inpatient. We had an hour of school every day, and it was my favorite part of the day. I missed school and doing schoolwork. During that hour I was able to complete my work and research about nutrition. We would have classes about nutrition and the functions of the human body. Each day I was beating my eating disorder because I was replacing delusions with facts. I was obtaining knowledge, and the deceptions in my mind shortly faded away.

I thought I was getting better, but my psychiatrist told me otherwise. My doctor said I was close to getting a nasogastric tube. I was beyond crushed because I thought I was making progress. I gave up, and I stopped working towards my goals. Having become dehydrated, I had an IV for three weeks, became sick, and felt weak. I could not walk anymore and had to be in a wheelchair. One morning I arose and was tired of living that way, and I wanted to get my life back. I realized I had to learn in order to change my habits. I started to ask my doctor and treatment team more questions. I started informing myself, and I began to develop a healthier lifestyle. Education helped me grow as a person. Learning about nutrition and the body helped me out of my disorder. Learning ignited a passion inside of me; I realized I had goals and dreams. I knew I would only reach those dreams by feeding myself, and I became motivated to make a full recovery.

I was transforming into the person I wanted to become. I finally got out of inpatient and went to a partial hospitalization program. Being there I learned even more and more. As my knowledge expanded it helped me build opinion, and I started to have a point of view on things. I started to develop my values and put my energy into education. Education helped me form ideas, and led me to a healthier lifestyle.

At this point I had missed half a year of school. My parents and I decided to start homeschooling. I began homeschooling, and ended up finishing it all during the summer. I graduated from high school a year early! Education is beyond important; there are so many misleading facts out there. One needs to do extensive research from credible sources before doing something that can harm their body. Day by day eating got easier for me. There were days I wanted to quit, but I always went back to the facts. I knew I had to eat in order to function. Education helped me out of my eating disorder because I learned about nutrition, and that made understand what I was putting into my body. Learning made me value factual information; I did not value this much before.

Education and learning were an illuminating light in a darkened tunnel for me. Education helped me get my life back on track. I am in college now and one step closer to becoming a psychiatrist. I went from thinking that my eating disorder would take my life to becoming the happiest I have ever been. My happiness is from educating myself about the things I knew nothing about. I was doing things that were destroying my body, and I did not know the consequences of my actions. Education shined into my life and helped me develop and change as a person. Learning has become one of my biggest priorities and that will never change. My eating disorder was a dark time for me, but having let light shine out of darkness. I let my eating disorder become a learning experience for me. I am now able to face the world from a new perspective. I have now become a stronger person because of my eating disorder, and I have developed in ways that I never knew I could. Life has ups and downs, but at the end things do get better.


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