I want to help educate people
Hitting myself until I bruised.
Scratching myself until I bled.
At the young age of six, Rachel’s overwhelming anxiety drove her to self-harm. She would eventually turn to food to help feel more comfortable. Without even recognizing it, Rachel developed an eating disorder.
When I was in 7th grade, I had a history teacher who asked us to write a paper on what we liked about ourselves. I was sitting in class, and I just started crying.
Rachel was sent to the school counselor. It was the first time she had told anyone about her self-harm or bulimia and has been in therapy ever since.
I was suicidal through high school. I tried to keep my eating problems hidden as much as I could. Now I think—why was I ashamed of something I didn’t want? If I had diabetes, I wouldn’t hide that.
Rachel made it to graduation and on to Bridgewater State University. But with more flexibility in class schedule, she found herself either at the dining hall or the campus gym—her bingeing and purging caused her to become so dehydrated, an ambulance needed to be called several times. The school eventually told her not to come back.
It was the worst my eating disorder had ever been. I felt like I failed college.
Rachel spent six months in an inpatient program for young women with eating disorders. The tools she learned there helped her continue her studies at a community college. She hopes to get her master’s degree in social work and pursue a career as a high school counselor. Still, she knows she must continue to manage her eating disorder.
It’s still a roadblock in my life. As recent as two months ago, my doctor wanted me to take time off school to work on my illness. But staying busy helps me. If I keep pushing for what I want, I’ll get it eventually.