The photo on the left was taken during the summer after my junior year of high school. Sadly, this was only the beginning of what turned out to be a life-threatening battle I would fight for the next 5 years of my life. Anorexia stole my life away from me - every memory and every moment was tainted by the demon living inside of my head. Each morning I woke up with the weight of the world on my shoulders. The mere act of opening my eyes to a new day seemed nearly impossible. The physical exhaustion, mental warfare and emotional breakdowns I dealt with on a daily basis were enough to send me off the deep end with no desire of ever re-discovering my true self. I surrendered to the illness and let it take over my mind, body and soul. I was a rag doll to the demon within me. It was not until I actively chose recovery during my lengthy hospitalization that I could begin to search for my strength, passion and desire to live. I had to make the conscious decision to fight this illness over and over again every single day. Every moment, every thought and every behavior was the result of a conscious decision to defeat this enemy that was living inside of me. It was my focus and number one priority. My life no longer belonged to anyone else - it was mine and I was going to fight like hell for it. And that's when I became a warrior. Those are the days that defined me. I grew and changed in a way that I never knew was within the realm of possibility. I found myself, and fell in love with the girl that I found. Today and everyday I appreciate this girl and love each and every part of her. I am so unbelievably proud of who I am because I worked my ass off to get here. This battle is far from over, but I promise to never ever give up the fight. Recovery is a life-long road that I must embrace, but it is a part of my life I would never trade. It has taught me the meaning of strength, acceptance and inner peace. It has showed me who I am, and why I deserve a place on this earth amongst all of the other beautiful people I have come to know, love and admire.
Recovery has shaped me into who I am today, and who I want to be for the rest of my life.