Four years ago I was a pathetic shadow of a person, crying every morning into my public relations text book, spilling coffee all over my English anthology, walking my bike across campus because I was too empty inside to ride. I let another person dictate my life, telling me what to eat, criticizing my haircut, laying out my future. I had no goals or dreams, no self-respect, no sense of security. I felt responsible for all of humankind’s shortcomings, worthless, overwhelmed, underwhelming. I stayed in bed for days at a time, too afraid of sunlight to climb out from under the covers. I felt unlovable, boring, needy, invisible. I stopped eating and watched my skin disappear as the scale dropped from 122 to 106 in two weeks. French class became an exercise in slouching to avoid a chalkboard summons and watching vivid green leaves wave against the window in the wind. Blue sky, grey sky, perfect-for-cloud-watching sky. Days paraded past. My ex-boyfriend came to visit and I sat ramrod straight in a living room chair, feigning interest in his military life and dutifully answering his line of questions about my schoolwork. I was drowning, and it was the only thing I felt good about.
I absolutely refuse to become that person again.
Whatever it is that’s been wrong lately, it stops right now.