GOING TO THE THERAPIST WAS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS...
...and what I felt wasn't considered a "real problem." Middle school was a testing time for my personal life. My family was dealing with financial uncertainty and my grandparents were going through surgery after surgery. Tension levels were high and my struggles with bullying at school seemed petty at the time. Mentally and physically, I felt shattered and lost. Eventually my mental state resulted in an eating disorder. That felt like the only thing I could control and I became disturbingly good and hiding it.
To this day I don't think my parents would ever admit it although they must have known. Well-being was never a topic of conversation in our household an excellence in all aspects was expected. The offhand comments about my weight and physique slowly marinated in my thoughts to the point of lashing out the best I could by torturing my body and my mind. Eventually I knew that in order to succeed in high school I had to work on myself. Seeking the help of school guidance counselors and friends, I nursed back to emotional health slowly introducing nutrition back into my diet as well.
My family has changed since this dark time for us. Now we are more open, healthier, and focused on being wholly healthy from the inside to the out. I strongly believe with is reflected both ways. What you feel within takes a toll on the body and internal mental and emotional strength and well being is just as important. I urge families to have those hard conversations. It's okay to get angry, cry, and show emotion. Showing it as opposed to hiding it is a step in itself. I'm lucky for the support system I have in them and thankful that we have adapted together. I encourage communities and individuals to do the same.