Don’t Look Away

The summer of my junior year of college, the man I loved abandoned me for heroin, and I retreated inside my eating disorder. I began volunteering at a homeless shelter for women in Chicago, IL, despite struggling with body dysmorphia to the point where I otherwise refused to be seen. The night I came home from my first shift I glanced in the mirror and for a few minutes was okay with my reflection. This helped me realize that body dysmorphia served a purpose in my life and was a maladaptive coping mechanism, like the eating disorder I had been battling since age fourteen. I later found treatment at a program called Insight, in Chicago, IL, but not before things …

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