by Kelsey DeFillipo
Are you trying to live up to society’s unrealistic expectations of beauty, where you should go to college, whether you should go to college at all, what job to get? The belief that society holds is that we all must follow the same path. That path where we must all attend college, get a degree, and get a good paying job. However, this path isn’t for everyone, and that is completely ok. Society spreads the message that we are a failure if we stray away from the norm. I want to spread the message that no matter what path you took or the path you are currently on, you are NOT a failure. In creating your own path, something beautiful happens. You are able to discover yourself. You are able to discover who you truly are, what you truly want out of life, and what your dreams are.
Throughout my life, I have followed everyone else’s path and did what everyone else told me to. Ever since I was in Kindergarten, I remember doing everything my older sister did. I went to all the same schools as she did and I played all the same sports she did. Somewhere along the way, I lost myself and my core values. I developed an eating disorder in high school when I was 15. My eating disorder was the only thing that I felt that I had control over and the one thing in my life that I could make my own choice about. Everything else in my life was always chosen for me, like where I went to school, where I was going to go to school, what degree I would earn, where I was going to live, and what sports I would play.
I started on the crazy journey of recovery when I was 20. I am now 22 and am now coming to know the person that I am. I am starting to discover the path that is right for me and the path that will lead me to my dreams. I noticed that in creating my own path and making my own choices, the eating disorder is beginning to fade away day by day. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my days where I struggle, but in having more control over my life and making my own choices, I am able to find freedom from the eating disorder.
If you are struggling in your recovery, whether it’s because you feel like you don’t have enough control over your life or some other reason and your eating disorder is the only way to cope, I want to encourage you to ask your self, not your eating disorder, not anyone else but your authentic self, what it is you want out of life, what you hope your future to be like and roll with it. Speak your truth and maybe even create a vision board for what you hope to accomplish in life. Don’t let your eating disorder or anyone else tell you it is the wrong choice. You, your authentic self is the only one who knows you best so listen to you and start walking your own path.