These manipulating destructive voices inside our heads may never turn completely silent, but we can learn not to listen to them. When we finally make the decision to take back control over our lives, over our actions, our thoughts doesn't affect us that much anymore. They lose power.
Three months ago I felt like life couldn't get any worse. I was in a depressive episode due to my Bipolar disorder, I was having extreme and fast mood swings due to my Borderline personality disorder, I was torturing my body as a consequence of my eating disorder and I was self-harming basically every night.
It was long after my first stay at a psychiatric hospital, many years past my first meeting with a psychiatrist, long after I dropped out of school but only a couple of months since I had made the promise not to attempt suicide again. I never break promises. I felt stuck, desperate. It was after the time my job had offered to pay for residential treatment and I had agreed to go, actually feeling hope again - just to find out that it wouldn't happen.
I had given up.
The voices in my head were loud and destructive. I believed every word they said, every single lie that the bullies told and I made my truth many years ago. My therapist told me that my eating disorder was life-threatening, that I was going to die if I kept treating my body that way. I didn't care. The monster inside of me was cheering: "Yes you're doing it right! Keep going, keep pushing harder. The sooner the better." The part of me that didn't want to die, that just wanted to be thinner, to be accepted, to be liked, to be happy - was gone. I didn't think life would ever get better and Iaughed at all the people telling me to hold on.
I don't know how it happened, but it did get better. Here I am, in New York City for a summer program in advanced acting for film. I didn't only cross the Atlantic to get here, but to get in front of the camera and up on stage I also had to stop listening to all those lies the voice inside my head constantly tells me.
I've made friends, lots of friends: the most amazing people that I hope I stay in touch with for the rest of my life. They tell me I'm beautiful, that they love my style, that they love me. My roommate and I are going on a roadtrip to Florida once the course ends, she lives there and I'm gonna stay with her for a couple of days. I've been in several short films, I did a monologue at our talent show, I got upon stage in front of our acting class performing a poem I wrote myself ending it with ripping my long-sleeved shirt of revealing all of my scars. The most talented people I've ever met have told me that I'm good, that I'm "freakingly talented", that they think I'm actually gonna be able to make it as an actress. I don't get it. I don't understand it. Why are these people so nice to me? Why are they saying all those things? Do they mean it? The voices in my head desperately tells me not to believe them, that they are lying, that no one likes me, that I'm fat, ugly and disgusting. I still can't chose not to believe it, but I can chose not to follow what it tells me to do. I can't make it shut up, but I can refuse to listen.
I have eaten every single meal during these weeks. I haven't skipped a single meal, I haven't restricted, I haven't purged, I haven't binged. My thoughts constantly comes back to the amount of calories I've just eaten. The monster inside screams: "Too much! Too much!". I don't listen. I eat.
I may always chose the healthiest option possible but I always eat a proper meal when I'm supposed to. Why? I need to. I need food to be able to perform my best on stage. Unfortunately that's not always reason enough. Most of the time I try to be a good role model for others. I want to be someone that others can look to and say: "Well she eats good, healthily - maybe I can to?" I hate the size zero-ideal, why should I follow it and in that way be a part of it? Once again, I want someone to look at me and say: "She isn't a size zero, but she seems to live a good life anyway - maybe I don't have to lose weight either?"
I want to live. I want to live even though it hurts. I want to feel, I want to make my dreams come true, I want to try and make the world a better place, I wanna make a difference.
The will to live came back as soon as I started working towards my dreams again, as soon as I found something to live for. My dreams are more important than my eating disorder. My dreams are louder than the voice of my eating disorder. I'm working hard and I'm getting closer every day. My scars on the outside are healed, they will always be there but they are healed. My throat is no longer sore from purging too much, I no longer faint when exercising and I no longer need to sleep during my lunch breaks. The scars on the inside are deeper, harder to heal, but that's alright. I've got time. I've got a whole life ahead of me.
One thing has changed in the way I look at myself: I no longer think of myself as "Diana, fat, ugly and disgusting" and neither as "Diana, mentally ill with an eating disorder". Now when I look at myself I think: "Diana; aspiring actress, passionate and hard-working - recovering from an eating disorder and mental illnesses". Cause things can change. Those manipulating, destructive voices inside my head doesn't have to turn completely silent cause I no longer listen to them.
When I took control over my life, my actions and my dreams, the thoughts lost their power. I don't need them. They are not helpful to me anyways.
So believe me everyone who is in the place I used to be: things does get better. Life is worth living and you are worthy of life.