My Test My entire life it seems has been my ultimate test. When I was four I knew I was different from other girls my age. When I was 10 I felt as if I had no friends and that fitting in just wasn’t something people like me could do. When I was 11 I was so worried about who I was and how others viewed me, I couldn’t wear anything with sleeves because the stress of figuring out why I didn’t belong gave me sweat stains so bad the teasing would get worse. When I was 12 my nutrition consisted of eating half my portion at meals and sports four times a week. When I was 13 I realized I was depressed and when I was 14 I started self-harming. When I was 15 and three days my mom found out I was a bulimic. When I was 15 and a month I started therapy. When I was 15 and two months I found out that bulimia had depleted half my heart’s mass and when I was 15 and two months and one day I was at home while my team went to sports camp. When I was 15 and four months I was at home when my team was on the field and when I was 15 and five months I was at home when my team went to parties, football games, school events and sleepovers. When I was 16 and 14 days I was back on the field and when I was 16 and one month I was clean from self-harm. When I was 16 and two months I was at prom with my amazing boyfriend of two years. When I was 16 and three months I was scoring the winning goal of the championship game and when I was 16 and four months I had the confidence to wear a bathing suit in public. When I was 16 and five months I was back at school, making those who sat alone feel welcome, and when I was 16 and seven months I was back at square one. After being in therapy for over a year for my bulimia and depression, I thought this would be the fall season that things actually changed. I had hope that I had learned my lesson and that I would never forget that God had been gracious enough to give me back all of the things I lost from my self-inflicted struggles. I thought that even though fall is always hard, that I wouldn’t come to the place where I needed medication or even wanted to go to the hospital just so I could have a break from the stress perfectionism puts on me in my vigorous academic life. I thought that my experiences had given me the wisdom I needed, and they did, but they didn’t give me the strength to save myself from falling back to my knees in the pain I have felt my whole life without realizing it. I don’t know why I am depressed. I don’t know why I am only apathetic when the sadness is gone. I don’t know why I am once again disgusted to be in my own skin. I don’t know why I am still fighting the same fight I have since as long as I can remember. I don’t know why I am so ready to give up. I don’t know why I am happiest when I am alone. I don’t know why I am having so much trouble finishing a single task. But I do know that I am not alone in my struggle. I know that there are others like me who don’t know what they need to get better or how others can help or why they feel the way they do. I know that bad things happen to good people and I know that just because you have a bad day it doesn’t mean you’re having a bad life. I know that tomorrow holds endless possibilities and that my future is but a few breaths away. I know that Christ has never left my side and that he has always been holding everyone who has ever called out to Him. I know that Christ loves me the same as he does a healthy person and the same as people who may be more sick that I am. I know that there is hope in a world so seemingly bleak. I know that there is calm before the storm but also that the storm wears itself out. I know that I have made it this far and I can make it one more day. I know that rather than perfect I was created perfectly imperfect. I know that it’s hard; and even though it might not be better today or tomorrow, I will one day be free of my illness. And I know that my illnesses do not define me. Share your story, message, poem, quote, photo or video of hope, struggle or recovery. By sharing your experience, you can let others know that they are not alone.