How a Song Helped Me Find My Voice Again in Eating Disorder Recovery
I love writing music, but my eating disorder convinced me I should never sing, write or perform. Sharing my feelings was a no-no. I lost all strength in my voice, literally and figuratively. Singing was hard from purging, and I felt the only way I could really communicate my feelings was through my unhealthy behaviors and appearance.
Even when I did enter recovery, I constantly questioned my worth and the power of my voice. Do I really have anything special to give to the world? I didn’t really know the answer then, but today the answer is most definitely yes. I wanted to write a song from the perspective of a mirror, because I always felt like the mirror told me so much — what I was allowed to wear, what I was worth, whether today would be good or bad. That’s how “Reflections” came to be.
What I realized in treatment — and what really inspired me to write about one’s reflection — is that reflections have only as much power as you give them. And it can be hard not to give them all the power in the world. We constantly see our reflections in mirrors, in windows, in photos. And it would make or break my every single day, and I usually found a way to make my reflection hate me. I have acne, acne scars, unruly eyebrows, I don’t have the “ideal” body, my hair can be so hard to handle, and most recently, I’ve had to accept that my thighs touch. My stomach has folds when I bend over. I hate my arms. But. I also have the courage to voice my feelings.
I am allowing my voice and music to be heard, even though I have many fears about how it will be received. I do not hate my life as I once did now that I’ve freed myself from the constraints of what my reflection dictated my life to be. This video was difficult to make, and I questioned often whether I wanted to show my skin without makeup or my healthy body so close up, but the nagging voice in the back of my head that tells me I have to do something to change the world always said yes. I hope this inspires you to work towards talking back to the voice inside many of our heads that says our appearance makes us “less than.”
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