Finally, at the age of 18 and after much preparation, I started my papers, turned them in as soon as they'd let me, and I waited. And waited.
They told me that three weeks was the average amount of time it should take to get your mission call in the mail. Well, three weeks passed by, then four, and they kept on building up. Almost two months after I had submitted my papers, my stake president asked me to meet with him. Walking into his office, my heart felt tight. My bishop was there, as well, and the three of us knelt in prayer to open our meeting. I could sense what was coming. We proceeded to sit down, and my stake president looked straight into my eyes, a look of empathy across his face.
My best kept secret.
High school. I started rugby. I began to be immensely proud of my strength and the eating disorder was less present than ever before. But then, senior year. There were several events that broke me down, the rugby season was coming to a close, and I just didn't care anymore. I let the eating disorder take over.
An eating disorder is not a choice. Like having depression or being bipolar or any other kind of mental disorder, it is something that is off inside of your brain. In MY OWN RIGHT MIND I knew I wasn't overweight. An eating disorder is like a little person that sits at the back of your mind and tells you lies about yourself all day long, until you end up believing it. You can choose to ignore it, like I did for quite some time, but that can only go on for so long. Once you give in even in the slightest, it gets more aggressive.
An eating disorder is also not classified by actions made. A person can have an eating disorder and never lose weight. The disorder is the part of your mind breaking down your confidence; these are the thoughts that potentially lead to the actions of not eating or throwing up.
All I thought about was how to avoid eating, what I could do to burn more calories. With every step I took further into this disorder, I also lost the feeling of self-worth. I was smaller than I'd ever been, yet I hated myself more than I ever had.
Well, God disagreed. He prompted whoever it was that reviewed my mission papers to not accept them, and looking back now, I see it was for the best. At the time, it felt like a slap in the face, like Heavenly Father saying he didn't trust me.
I layed it all out on the table for him, admitting everything I thought about myself and the way I had treated myself. I prayed that I would grow to WANT to change, because at that time I was still attatched to the eating disorder. For months, I used Him as a therapist-like figure, telling him my every thought and problem. Every single day, I prayed for confidence. I prayed to be able to love myself the way He loves me.
Then, on September 10th, 2014, it clicked.
I was in my apartment, on Pinterest just like any other casual night, when a friend sent me a pin. She had no idea I had any kind of issue with myself, so I like to assume that she was prompted to do so. It said,
So, I learned to love myself. I continued to pray for help, and I truly treated my body like a temple, and I monitored my negative thoughts. Everything negative in my life, I cut it out altogether.