When society told me food was my enemy, my bones turned to dust

How does society and or social media impact how teens today view food and our bodies? How do we block out the sound of the voices we don't recognize and how do we remain happy, positive or motivated? The truth is no one does. It's a motion of waves that coexist in our bodies, swaying from happiness to feeling the dread of the next morning. The dread of getting out of bed and facing simple tasks that feel impossible. Brushing your teeth, or making a cup of tea which should be an act of self care, or feeding yourself breakfast which is a necessity, yet the heavy feeling of guilt ways in. I don't know that my younger self was aware of how bad it could get, I wish I could have warned her that eating oatmeal every morning because she would someday read a post that encouraged it due to the simple fact that it would keep her stomach flat, when it already was, would bring her nothing but a mind that convinced her she was anything but wanted. Or that she'd read another post at the age of 12 that warded her away from coffee because someone told her it caused weight gain, I wish I could tell her to have not listened. She loved coffee, and she went without it for months to entertain the media's image of a ‘perfect' woman. She became afraid of her favorite foods, bagels became her enemy, she stopped drinking orange juice, she gave up iced teas from the grocery store, she gave up 3 meals. If she had a snack she wouldn't eat dinner. People noticed but they didn't say much, she was told she never ate. And, they were right. I didn't. Her anxiety came back stronger and stronger each day, her body begged her for the nutrition it craved. She didn't listen, she avoided the echoes of it's voice by blocking it out. Her heartbeat would ring out of rythme sometimes, that worried her. It resumed its normal pattern after awhile. My heart beat, I guess. Motivation came hard to me, I cried about simple tasks, they felt bigger and out of reach. I forced my body to work out daily, rest days were not an option. I didn't let them become an option. And then I'd stop working out all together, the overwhelming weight of guilt became too much. I stopped doing things I was passionate about, depression consumed my day to day. I didn't leave my bed for awhile, I didn't clean my room, or my body. I was a crippling leaf filled with water, another name that could be given is insecurity. Diets were my best friend, I wasn't. I didn't live, because I wasn't allowing my body to really be alive. I hear the echoes of my own words now, my own advice, and I seem to listen better than I used to. When my body tells me it's hungry, I listen. I don't have anxiety over pizza or pasta now, the reflection doesn't terrify me anymore, and even on the days I wish I was in a different form or body, i still tell myself the words my best friend would tell me “You are beautiful. Lovable, worthy.” “Take care of yourself like you'd take care of me” “Your internal bullies are lying, don't listen to them” I see the good in life again, because I've chosen to. I have many ambitions, passions, hobbies. I have amazing friends and family, I love them dearly. I have warm socks on my feet, gifted to me by my best friend after she found out I had a bad day. I have a cozy bed and blankets, and I have the ability to read my favorite books and brew my favorite flavor of tea, Peach. My music is playing calmly in the background of my life as I type this out, and I am reminded of the good things the universe has given me with its own bare hands. And then i'm reminded of what i've done for myself, and the blessing i've given myself, Permission. Permission to eat, and to enjoy it. Permission to love conversations with strangers, to workout so my body moves itself and for no other reason, to wear my favorite clothes, and to fall in love with life and myself. Happiness is not a consistent line, it's a wave with ups and downs, and I accept both. Because I accept myself in either form. But now I know on the days I feel like my bed is my home, I pick myself up the next day, and I grant myself a life I deserve living. Food still scares me sometimes, but I've learnt to push past the echoes of my internal torment, and replace it with loving affirmations. I am happy. Even during the dark times, life has its ways of reminding me that I'll find my way back. it feels good to be healed, or atleast on the path of healing. I am happy, and I truly do love my life. happiness and motivation ebb and flow, it is not consistent. I think somewhere along the way, humans lost sight of this fact, so that when the bad days arise, as they will, we don't know what to do with ourselves, when in all actuality, bad days are just proof of living, just as is breathing.

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