Then every so often I'll hear of something that completely catches my breath, stuns and silences me. Such tragedy that it penetrates right through me, all the way through.
Sometimes life can be so cruel. Naturally I feel we all as human beings are affected more by tales that we can to some extent empathise with - it taps into something very deep. There will always be certain topics that will touch a raw nerve with me and as we all know I am no stranger to that vicious, manipulative disease that is anorexia nervosa.
I didn't even know the girl, I don't even know her name but I was reading mooching around Facebook today of a person a friend of mine knew of who had died of her anorexia. It's such a fucking god awful illness, only profanities seem fit to describe it. It leaves me feeling a real seething burning hatred right to my core when I think about what it steals from young lives.
I feel I lost enough of myself to my own experience, it sapped the life out of a sizable chunk of my teenage years, and I consider myself to be a lucky one - relatively I got off pretty lightly (save a tad of this and that damage) and (regardless of whether I "should") I never spent time in an inpatient unit.
It just eats it's victims from the inside outwards - quite literally, a parasitic leech. It makes me want to weep, I've seen too many truly beautiful people being chewed up by it, watch their soul erode, see once bright eyes fall beyond dull - to just lifeless black pits. Vivacious, gregarious young women become just shadows of their former selves.
I know how it feels to live within it's brutal claws. How impossible it seems to ever get out of it's seemingly impenetrable bubble. Nothing matters but the pursuit of impossible levels of thinness, it makes you believe that your only purpose for living is to starve yourself to absolute nothingness. Such a sickening irony - living to die. I understand how hollowing and harrowing it is to live that way- just being so desperate to be good enough, to be acceptable, to conform a standard - but such standards are impossible - it's a level of delirious perfection that is simply unattainable. You live feeling nothing but worthless. And beneath that deep seated self hatred, at the epicentre of it all is fear - a terrifying fear of being alone, not being loved or being rejected. An immense childlike insecurity, a longing an ache – a need to be loved and looked after.
I was fortunate to find a sense of love and strength from somewhere, I found a light, I had an epiphany and have been able to fight through a build a new life for myself - which isn't to say I don't have off periods but reading today about this poor young person's death just brought everything home to me again - you HAVE to keep fighting, being strong and surviving as a beacon for those lost to this terrible disease. I'm standing tall with my beacon and sharing with you all my fellow fighters and survivors, a light of hope, a light of remembrance and symbolic of a true determination and will to move forward. We can't bring back those who have been lost - but I know I walk and fight everyday to show that to some extent their death hasn't been completely in vain - we live on in their memory - living and breathing where they no longer do - showing that for us the fight wasn't for nothing and we survive carrying their spirit along with us.