Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

We all have something in our lives that is hard for us to get through.  For some it may be an addiction to drugs, alcohol or maybe an eating disorder.  For others it may be a physical or mental ailment.  The one thing we all have in common is that we struggle.  It is a part of being human.  Without struggles our character wouldn’t grow.  We wouldn’t be able to see what we are truly made of.

I think of this life as an experience.  We may not get to choose the outcome but we have all the power to choose how we react to the experience.  I know that in the midst of the tough times we may not see the silver linings but, if in the end we can look back and see what we just accomplished, then we can see what we are made of.

I was married at 25, a little late for my plan, nevertheless I was happy.  My husband and I wanted nothing more than to bring a child into the world, because that would make life complete.  Over the course of the years we experienced miscarriage after miscarriage, or in my eyes, failure after failure.  It became taxing in every way.  There were times when I absolutely hated my body because it was not doing what it was supposed to.  It was worthless.  I despised myself for not being a “better” person because in my mind that was why we weren’t having children.  I honestly felt my husband should find someone else because I was unworthy of love.  He could do better.  I did not consider myself a woman because I was not perfect. What made matters worse…the doctors weren’t successful at identifying the exact cause.  Naturally I deserved the punishment.

Sunbeam ray light cloud sky twilight colorOne day I was talking with a very wise friend who helped me realize that everything negative about myself had become fact in my mind.  Deep down I knew it was all lies but it seemed the only answer as to why we were struggling to have children.  I was negative.  I couldn’t even remember what it was like to actually be me, happy, spunky and always looking at the bright side of life.  I made the decision then and there to slowly replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.  At first the negative ones kept coming at me like a tornado, unrelenting.  I kept on working at it, day after tiresome day.  One day I woke up and realized there had been a shift.  Something was lighter and I began to believe that I just might be worthy of love.  Maybe there was more to me than having babies.  Maybe…just maybe I was a good person.

Over time I believed in myself again. I realized where I had been – in a bubble of negativity I had created.    I never wanted to go back. I had been trapped inside a bog of negativity, and I had dug myself out!  All by changing one thought at a time. I did it. No more self judgment. I actually liked myself again.

Don’t let your struggles define you.  Don’t let your failures define you. Don’t let society define you.  Don’t let your body define you.  Don’t let your negativity define you.  Don’t let judgment define you, be it self-judgment or judgment by others.

When you can embrace your physical, mental and emotional imperfections, THAT is true beauty and that is what you are made of.  The more you own who you are, flaws and all, the more happiness you will feel.  Let YOU shine through.  This will help others be comfortable enough to be themselves too.

“Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” –James Barry

By Whitney
Lead Care Tech