By: Cayla Vanderzanden
"Nobody is perfect" you grow up hearing it, over and over and over again. The words fall flat, each one bearing no impact. It's a given. Nobody ever soaks it in, ever considers it, nobody realizes how utterly live changing those few simple words are.
I thought I understood those words, bonded together through time, but I was profoundly wrong. The idea of perfection slowly consumed me. I would stand in front of the mirror, gaze at my reflection and cringe. Every single slope of my body, every curve, an imperfection. Anything I could grab, squeeze, pinch... all imperfections. I'd stand there for minutes on end; critiquing every inch until I couldn't breathe. Until MY face was stained with black tears and My body crumpled on my bathroom floor. Confused, so confused, as to why I couldn't be perfect. I thought loosing those 2 extra pounds would do it. Maybe just two more?
I'd stand back up, and push harder. Push to ignore my growling stomach and pounding headaches. That way of life stretched on. Each time, just two more pounds, I'd vow to myself. It was always a lie. Perfection in itself, it's such a lie.
Being perfect landed me in the hospital. Being perfect was a feeding tube, hospital gown, and a wheelchair. Being perfect was 98 pounds of pure bones and a few tear drops. It was the echos of my parents sobs at night and my best friends' frantic texts. Being perfect lead to years of doctors appointments. Being perfect changed my life, it left scars upon my heart. Those scars will be forever glowing, slowing fading, but never perishing.
I've been recovered from anorexia for about a year now. And I say that loosely - I still lose the ability to breathe when the word "anorexia" is spoken. My mom still worries. Everything seems different, because it is. There is a before and there is an after.
But, I guess my main point, although it took some shallow breathes and unsteady hands to get to, is that life has gotten so much better. I love living. Those thoughts that once plagued my mind no longer even cross it. I fought with every fiber of my being and now, I deserve self love. I deserve to look at myself and know that my imperfections are what make me who I am. I deserve to feel beautiful, and on the days that I don't, to know, I still am.
The fight is infinitely worth it. Life, it's worth it. You. You are so worth it. So worth loving.