Kat l's body image story
I never had a huge issue with body image. Maybe I thought I could stand to lose “about 5 pounds” but I’m sure we’ve all said that at least once. I believed very strongly that regardless of our circumstances God is always here for us. Sometimes the world fails but God struggles with us.
I went into college with this incredible faith and some wonderful God-loving friends. If God is for me who could stand against me? I immediately jumped into a sorority and ended up reporting hazing my first semester of college. That’s fun. The stress was suddenly so unreal; I was going to class 5 days a week, studying for tests, and attending meetings with the school to give my testimony over and over. All while continuing to be a part of this sisterhood that already seemed to not be fitting quite right. But I’m not a quitter, I wanted to stay where I thought I could find the best people to surround myself with in this new environment.
I did make these forever friends (sisters) but I also burned bridges I had just formed. Some people appreciated what I did but there was still a large group that wouldn’t make eye contact with me when I walked into a room. They hated me because I stood up for what I believed in. This was so painful. Some misunderstood, some didn’t care, and others just couldn’t believe that I had been the one to speak. My mom raised me to acknowledge that some girls are always going to behave that way and I need to always behave with grace.
Flash forward to second semester and the meetings had stopped. The girls who had been whispering behind my back were now talking to me directly. The rumors were out of control. I had failed a class and found myself on academic probation. My parents couldn’t understand what had happened to me in just a few months.
I starting skipping meals. At first I didn’t really notice that I wasn’t eating. Anything I needed to do to get back to my room as quickly as possible even if that meant not eating. The meals I did eat were short and small. I didn’t really deserve to eat. Just a few meals would turn into just a few days. I started to feel nothing, I was completely emotionless. I had also lost almost 20 pounds in the first 3 months of my new coping mechanism.
I had something new to obsess about. I was asked to see the school psychologist due to the hazing incident. I was diagnosed with anorexia in just our first meeting. But I liked what was happening to me and my body. Now girls were talking about how thin I looked instead of spreading horrible rumors about me.
This story doesn’t really have a happy ending. I am not in recovery and still an active member in my sorority. I do although recognize that this can’t be my end. I get to choose where this goes from here, I have to choose recovery. I chose to stand up for what I believed in back to first semester of college and I am in no way that girl anymore, I stopped going to church, I stopped believing in the innate goodness of every person, and I stopped believing that every person deserves love just because they exist. I lost faith. But I get to choose when to go back.
I must play an active role in my life and this will not be it for me. I am too important because God made me that way. I must be kind, I must have compassion, and I must love. Not only others but myself first. I cannot begin to fill anyone else up until I am completely full. And I am working on getting completely full.