J Rooney - You deserve your summer
I want to contribute to the Warrior Talk blog and I want to unite with all the Warriors within it.
This is my writing, From J Rooney.
Title: Planting New Seeds
It began when I first felt inadequate.
I was 14, soon to be 15, and I got my first taste of what it felt like to be surrounded by people who seemed better than me. Some prettier, most smarter. They worked harder, achieved more, knew more, etc. The gun was loaded.
And then the trigger was pulled a few months later, when someone horribly toxic entered my life. Through her, I was introduced to self-hatred, Ana, cutting, and soul-sucking perfectionism. She was naturally skinnier, prettier, and edgier. I felt invisible and worthless standing next to her; her obvious mental health issues weren’t repulsive then, but appealing, romanticised by her own presentation. My brain so easily succumbed to the idea that she—and many other people—were far better. My undesired weight, intelligence, and appearance took over my daily life.
I was never good at starving myself, or throwing up. My ED was the epitome of gaining self-control when I felt so weak and ashamed. All I did was gain weight, rarely losing it. But during those times when I did manage to shed a pound or two, my toxic “friend” congratulated me. She told me how great I looked. She fed me her eating disorder (an ironic statement). I gladly accepted, believing losing weight in the extreme would make me pretty, worthwhile, desirable, likeable.
After a year-and-a-half, I did one of the best things I could have: I ended the friendship. But the disordered mentality—the emotional damage—had taken over my life and thought patterns. So although my living incarnation of Ana was gone, the seeds she planted were thriving. I hated almost everything about myself. Everyday, I compared myself to other people and believed them to be skinnier, more beautiful, more talented, more knowledgeable, more everything.
My mental health deteriorated to its worst during my first semester of college, when I nearly committed suicide. Years of depression, Ana and EDNOS, self-loathing, and the unlearned ability to work hard took their toll. I was newly 18. I wanted to die.
I was held to this earth by love. Love for my parents, love for a guy I would eventually date in a LDR for over two years (we are still together now). I left college after that semester and got my first job, the same place I work now.
Slowly, oh so slowly, I have destroyed and rebuilt. These years of recovery have been long and just as painful as those of darkness. I am still insecure sometimes. I still occasionally catch myself comparing how skinny another girl is next to me. I continue to be far, far too hard on myself. But that feeling of inadequacy ended when I discovered power in myself. Power and hope.
There are new seeds. Small, gently cared-for seeds that are not fragile. They survived the winter. It is spring in my world. Hints of summer. The sun is out many days. And when it is not, I am learning to appreciate rain. After all, rainy days help my seeds grow just as much as the sunny ones.
This journey of self-love isn’t over, and technically never should be. There are many traits that I possess that make me proud. I no longer feel invisible or worthless. My life has meaning now, so much of it. My past is truly in the past. I like who I am, and who I’m becoming. I am blessed.
I wish you all the best of luck on your journeys. You deserve your summer.
- J Rooney.