I was accepted as a contributor for The Huffington Post last weekend. The post I submitted for consideration and acceptance, I felt was a long shot. But when it was accepted, fear and anxiousness filled me. Writing about myself is one thing, but writing my darkest struggles is another.
The piece accepted that went live yesterday discusses my struggle with an eating disorder. I have been recovering for over a decade now, with a few hitches along the way. Very few people know about my struggle because it feels shameful. How can I still be so consumed by the power of food and struggle with my body image? That anxiety and self loathing is a constant battle for me and it’s difficult to not use those feelings to justify self destruction when those emotions breed issues that are only lying dormant within me.
I chose to share the my story about the ED resurfacing in my postpartum period this year. I feel that sharing personal experiences highlights a much needed void in conversations about women’s issues. Women’s issues can be discussed in general terms, sure. But there is a cloud of fear and shame to put our own name with an issue (whether it be an eating disorder, rape, miscarriage, or any other topic that is considered taboo). I believe that discussing our stories on individual terms gives more humanity to the struggle.
Writing should open our struggling hearts and extend humanity to our readers. Writing should be about connecting my heart to those reading my work. Writing should move the hearts of others. I was nervous to share the story to my Facebook, but the amount of love, support, and confidential connections to my struggle has been overwhelming. What I have experienced in the last 24 hours is what writing should be about.