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The hardest part was admitting to myself that something was wrong, let alone admitting it to others as well. Throughout college I was the one who had everything together. Nearly perfect GPA, president of multiple extracurriculars, volunteering every weekend...but each time I heard the phrase "Oh, Rebecca, you're perfect. YOU are my role model," I felt like a rubber band was twisting tighter and tighter around my chest. I used to wonder how no one could see the fear and sadness in my eyes as my facial features forced themselves into what I envisioned as the phoniest smile.
I am going to continue to try to be kind to myself because I am slowly accepting that I am a human being and we are all imperfect, myself included. And that's fine.
What no one really knew was that I kept lighters throughout my apartment, and burning my forearm was the only way I could take out the stress of upholding "perfect." Thankfully, in graduate school I have managed to find a great support system. The biggest step for me was admitting to them and myself that something was wrong. I have not burned myself in two months. It is a process. I find ways to distract myself when the desire arises. I am going to continue to try to be kind to myself because I am slowly accepting that I am a human being and we are all imperfect, myself included. And that's fine.