Written by a dancer in Invisible.
One snowboarding accident left me with a traumatic turn of events for the rest of my life. My boyfriend took me snowboarding and I ended up slipping on ice and sliding down the hill on my head. One concussion, whiplash, and less than a month later I was a completely different person. It started by nagging thoughts telling me I was fat, ugly and food was evil. My mind started to believe it and the next thing I knew I was repulsed by food. It would make me sick to smell or look at food. When I did eat I would think it was going to make me look fatter. Whenever I looked in the mirror I could only see flaws and ugliness. My wonderful bubbly, energetic personality turned to bitter horror and a lifetime of negative thoughts. The thoughts were so bad they would tell me I was worthless, and that no one would even notice if I was gone. They controlled my life.
I then thought of a plan, one that would end my life. Without a word to anyone, I took a lot of alcohol. The plan was to get so drunk that I couldn’t think or feel pain. I would also take a whole bottle of pills. The plan failed when I was so drunk that I passed out.
My friends and family could see me deteriorating, but my friends would ignore me for fear I would just bring them down too. I was alone with no one to help me fight the negativity. “What was wrong with me?” It was a couple nights later after a dance performance when my aunts rallied together and forced me to the hospital. I was 103 lbs (down 40 lbs) and weak. Life didn’t matter to me anymore. I just didn’t want to be plagued with my horrible thoughts. I spent one night in the hospital where I heard screams. It was so scary, I convinced my family that I would be better. I was cured.
The next day I started some medication the doctor gave me for anxiety. Rather than cure me, it sent me in to an attack I will never forget. I thought I was having a heart attack and I was going to die. I reached for the phone and instead of dialing 9-1-1, I reached out to my Aunt. She took me in to her home. I had had a panic attack. After a week of monitoring my state, I stayed in bed. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I ate half a banana and a small piece of cheese for the entire day and hadn’t showered in a week. My Aunt told me if I didn’t take a shower she would send me back to the hospital. After a lot of crying and almost falling down in the shower from weakness I obliged.
My boyfriend text messaged me to say he couldn’t deal with me and I felt it was over. I fell to the ground crying. I thought if I was prettier maybe he would stay with me. I didn’t want to fight anymore. I just wanted to die. My Aunt banged on the door to the bathroom and said my other Aunt was coming to take care of me for the rest of the day. She took me to a restaurant deep in the south and said that everyone was worried. She ordered my favorite: chicken and potatoes. I couldn’t even a bite, she said, “That’s it, we are going to the hospital.” The next thing I knew I was in an ambulance and off to the Hospital.
I arrived at 5pm and I wasn’t admitted to the psychiatric ward until almost 3am. They took my shoes and all my belongings and left me with my jacket. Around 5am I woke up to the sound of evil giggles. The room was flooding. My roommate had left the shower running and stole my chapstick from my jacket. I left the room crying sitting up on a bench outside the room. A nurse approached me and asked why I wasn’t in bed. I told him why. I was then relocated to another room. The next day I started to see where I was. I realized that I was now on the inside of “crazy house” as the stigma would say and I just wanted to die.
My Aunts and my sister would visit, but not a friend came by. I asked to see my phone and no one had contacted me. I was right, my disappearance was unnoticeable. I would sit in my room all day trying to think of ways to kill myself. I refused to look in the mirror because I hated what I saw. I felt like a failure and alone. I would cry every day trying to figure out why God would put me here. And every night I would stare at the ceiling not able to sleep. The nurses would give me medication to help me sleep, but the negative thoughts would control my entire awakening. The doctors took my blood every day and run tests to try to find out what was happening.
Where were my friends? Why did my boyfriend dump me? Why did God make me so ugly? Why couldn’t I find a way to just die and run from the sadness?
When I was released from the hospital and went back to work, barely anyone talked to me. People would say that I looked like a ghost and my boss tried to have me fired. I didn’t care about dance or friends anymore. I was diagnosed with major depression and told I might have this for the rest of my life. They gave me tools to manage it and I was on medication for almost two years, but the thoughts of being ugly and fat and a failure would plague me when I least expect it.
Being “Invisible”? It’s seeing shows like America’s Next Top Model where size 8-10 is considered plus sized, it’s seeing beautiful flawless skinny women at dance. It’s seeing constant commercials that we should be on a diet, why can’t I be one of those people? They convince you that you can, you just have to keep losing weight.
People constantly say to me, stop being so negative just think positively, if it were only just that simple.
This was my battle and this is still my fight for life.
You can watch her tell her story on video here.