My body image issues started at a very young age. By first grade I was always comparing myself to the “skinny girls” around me. It wasn’t that I was overweight but I was always short and curvy and longed to have long thin legs like my friends. In 3rd grade I missed 62 days of school over anxiety over my weight and body. By 6th grade I was starving myself and by middle school I was diagnosed with bulimia and anorexia. Although on the outside I looked healthy and happy on the inside it was a constant fight of feeling happy with myself. I actually wrote in my diary that I was a failure as a person in the 8th grade. I had a lot of friends, was part of the “popular” crowd but that didn’t matter to me because in my mind I was ugly and fat. By the time I was 16 I didn’t want to live anymore and one Sunday while my parents were in church I decided to take a cocktail of pills to end my life. Soon after I panicked over what I had done because in the end it wasn’t that I didn’t want to live, it was that I wanted help. I was tired of feeling the way I was feeling and needed people to hear me and know that I needed support to get better. The day I took the pills was the day I realized God wasn’t ready to call me home yet. That day I called my best friend to say “goodbye”. She called my best guy friend to tell him something was wrong. Before I knew it they were both at my house lying next to me on the floor as my breathing slowed down. At the time my parents were at a church that had 2500 people per service and they called the church to find my parents to tell them there was an emergency. The lady who took the call had NO clue who my parents were but walked into the sanctuary and prayed that the Lord would show her who my parents were and He did. By the time my parents got home the ambulance had arrived to take me to the hospital. I remember my dad pushing the paramedics out of the way to lay next to me and pray that I would survive. I will spare details on what happened next but later that day when things had calmed down my mom came into the hospital room and asked me if I knew what time I had taken the pills. I did. It was 12:36 in the afternoon. Her face went white and started sobbing. She showed me her wrist watch, and at exactly 12:36 her watch had died. That was when I knew my time had not come, and although it was a long and hard journey I owed it to myself and my family to fight for my happiness. Now 20 years later, I am happily married with 3 beautiful children. Has it always been easy? Absolutely not. I have had many ups and downs along the way. Had I let my disorder and depression end my life that day, I would have missed out on the BEST years of my life. I am so grateful that God is healing my heart and I am able to move on. Each and every day is a choice to look in the mirror and thank Him for being healthy, for what He has given me, and to CHOOSE to be happy and grateful. We all have a choice each day, and I choose LIFE! The struggle is a journey and each step of the way can be a fight for survival, but I encourage you to choose life. No matter how hard the journey we have been given a second chance, and for that I will forever be grateful. – Ellie, OH
YOUR MESSAGE- "The struggle is a journey and each step of the way can be a fight for survival, but I encourage you to choose life."