Behind Closed Doors – Battling Anorexia and Embracing Confidence

By: Zeinah Hesham

Trigger Warning: mentions of anorexia and its symptoms, insecurity, eating disorders, mental illness, etc. Read very carefully.

I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t insecure.

I grew up in a judgmental society, one that judged me for my body, my face and even my skin colour. Normally , it would be only natural for me to develop some kind of problem over the years.

Without even realizing it , I was diagnosed with an eating disorder shortly after I became depressed. All I could think about was how to hide and what could I possibly do to get rid of all these things that people hated about me. From my stretch marks to my stomach fat, I couldn’t escape the words that were following me.

“You’re so fat”

“Here’s the mozza”

“How are you in ballet?”

My eating disorder was so out of control that I didn’t realize how bad it was until the moment that my mom pointed out how bony I’ve really become. None of my friends cared enough to tell me how sick I looked or how I actually needed to eat and maybe just maybe that I actually didn’t need to do all of this to be happy and confident.

And that’s the thing about anorexia ; you think it’s just a goal. Once you lose those 5 kilos, you’ll be happy. Then it becomes 10 , 15 , 20; up until you truly feel like you’d be better off dead.

I would cry every single time that I stepped on the scale, terrified that I would have gained a gram of weight. I remember how heartbreaking it was to open the fridge and be so damn hungry but having to force myself to step back and not eat just so that I’d be a step closer to perfect.

Anorexia isn’t just a disorder, it is a haunting ghost.

Anorexia becomes this character that sits inside your head every single day and tells you what to do. From drinking gallons of water before a meal so that you could fake being full to the fidgeting of your body to the ice cold baths that would make you burn hundreds of calories. And soon enough it feels like Anorexia is a parasite controlling you and you’re just a host.

It took me about 4 years to finally come to my senses and realize that skinny isn’t everything. Being skinny won’t make you happy forever. Being skinny won’t make your friends love you more.

That’s when I realized what confidence is about.

It’s not about thinking that you’re the most beautiful person in the world.

Confidence is about finally getting over your fear of being unattractive and realizing that your job isn’t to just be attractive or ‘easy on the eyes’ . Your job is to be the best person you can be , know your own value and worth. The second you come to terms with those things, you’ll realize that no one else matters.

The only thing that matters is you working on yourself every single day. Doing what you can to be happier , to be stronger , to be better.

Confidence is not and will never be about being beautiful and bringing others down. It’s about knowing your place , improving your role and not get in the way of other’s success and lives, all the while working on your own.

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