Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date.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.

Author: Amy Gould – High School Senior

A great man once said, “That which doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger.” If this statement has any validity, and I believe it does, then that means my eating disorder has been a strengthening agent in my life because it hasn’t terminated me yet. Yes, this paradox could easily be taken as a positive connotation to eating disorders so let’s make one thing clear: Eating disorders are born, raised, and sustained by negativity; it is the bitterness I experienced with my eating disorder that allows me now to appreciate and savor sweetness much more than I did before. Actually, come to think of it, it was not the eating disorder, per say, that made me stronger, it was the painful introspection it inevitably forced me to undergo, for “the unexamined life is a life not worth living,”-Socrates. It acted as the red flag to my brain that something was terribly wrong with my life, or perception about life, and needed alteration.

Like any addict or substance abuser, which one who facilitates an eating disorder technically is, I refused to think I had a problem, and not until I had been hospitalized for nearly three months total in three different hospitals, including Center for Change, did I realize the horrific consequences wrought about by my eating disorder. It had made me into the person I strived NEVER to become: I fought with my parents, I said things I will forever regret, I lied, I stole, I slipped in my studies, I isolated myself, twice I was tempted with suicide, I became aloof towards Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son; ultimately, everything I had worked for and wanted was either gone or going as a result of my eating disorder. I lived in a grey haze which never cleared and allowed the little light left in my life to wane systematically.

In the statistics of eating disorders, there is only a 30% chance of complete recovery from an eating disorder and, unfortunately, I reside with the other 70% who still struggle day to day with constant negative thoughts and sometimes even debilitating eating disorder behaviors. This is not to say that I have not gotten better, for I am nothing like I was before treatment; I have a life and I can enjoy it, which is drastically opposite from the last two years of my life. The eating disorder has cost me a high price and I am no longer oblivious to that and am now fighting to advertise the downward spiral of all eating disorders. I have distributed posters and pamphlets throughout my school and have educated my school counselor concerning eating disorders. I have written many letters for my school paper, and I plan to talk to various schools in the near future.

I believe knowledge is essential in the battle against eating disorders, and I am not one to stand by and watch this tyrannical power increase in artillery due to lack of knowledge. I will give it a good fight!