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. What no one really knew was that I kept lighters throughout my apartment and that burning my forearm was the only way I could take out the stress of upholding "perfect.”
"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."
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.