The impossible search for perfection

Story By: Jen Jen

She thought that the only way to be happy was to reach perfection, so she took her diet to a dangerous extreme. Read how one girl discovered the pointlessness of her pursuit.

smiling girl in yellow short pic
I wanted to have her outlook, be positive about my life, able to accept that I could be happy with who I was.

It was about EVERYTHING in my life... about guilt, anxiety, perfection, the need to do everything for everyone else, holding the world on my shoulders... control. I can't blame, nor do I want to blame, anyone for my eating disorder because it's nobodies fault (except mine).

A diet too far

If I were to pick a definite start point I would have to say the point where I, somewhat out of the blue, decided to go on a diet because I thought it would give me some purpose if people could see that I was capable of something. A diet which I took too far.

I saw a psychologist for awhile and it helped but I was still not ready. I couldn't see myself outside my disorder. I was so scared that I would lose the one thing that I knew, my eating disorder defined who I was and without it I felt I would have nothing. It was the one thing that I would not let people take away from me.

Someone who had been there before

A little longer than a month ago I went on a production camp where we went away for the weekend anyway. On the bus there I was sitting on my own, someone came a few moments later and I was sitting next to them. Luckily for me she didn't make me move and we started to talk.

We got into a conversation and I told her more in that bus ride than I had ever told anyone in my whole time with my eating disorder. She was the first person that seemed to know what was going on in my head and for once I felt the slightest bit hopeful. I wanted to have her outlook, be positive about my life, able to accept that I could be happy with who I was.

It was hard to find someone who could listen to what I said and help me realise what thoughts were rational and justified and what thoughts weren't. And this person was the first person who not only had been where I had been, but she helped me do this.

I decided

I decided that I couldn't live like this anymore that I couldn't just say I was going to try to recover but that I really had to. One of my motivations was that I wanted to be a leader at the youth foundation I went on a camp with, and how could I help others if I couldn't help myself? I am now able to and willing to find out who I am and show that to people. At the same time I am risking failure but I'm not scared too much, because I can always learn form my mistakes.

The fight is worth it, and now as well as the more obvious steps I'm taking on this recovery path I'm doing the things I love as well. Life's not perfect but it can be good and I am trying harder than I ever have to keep it that way. Still accepting that bad things may happen but that I also don't have to focus on the bad things all the time.

Last reviewed: 23 February, 2014
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