By: Simran Bansal
Not for a second.
That is how I replied when I was asked, “Have you ever wished you could somehow go back in time, erasing your past with anorexia?”
Not for a single second. Would I want to relive the days I spent in a world where smiles were extinct? Of course not. But does that mean that I wished I had never seen that storm of grey to begin with? Not for a single second.
I used to think that everything happens for a reason. The universe was some moral compass, its decisions guiding me toward some greater future. I guess I now understand why they call children naïve. I now know that some things in life just don’t make any sense, and it’s as simple as that. There is no reason buried under all that confusion and randomness—after all, it is scientifically proven that the universe has a disposition for entropy.
I was hit with this heavy dose of reality after I was diagnosed with anorexia. At first, I thought this was nature’s way of punishing me. I believed I was given the illness as some sort of sick karma. I began to search for clues, for some rational explanation as to why I was handed this poisonous darkness. Was it because of the times I lied to my mother as I looked her straight in the eyes? Was it because of the times I fell far short of being a good big sister? After all that digging for some sort of answer, all I found was regret.
Now, I am on a mission. Not to find a reason per se, because some things do simply happen by chance. Knowing this now, freeing myself from all that remorse, I am on a journey to create my own reason. I want to create some beauty, my own brighter future, from my struggles. And I think I may just have found it. Battling anorexia as an adolescent has made me realize that I, too, want to help those weathering similar storms. I want to create a difference in the eating disorder community. That is why I created this blog. That it why I am now in the process of becoming a Project Heal ambassador. I am walking toward my brighter future, one I would have never known I had if it hadn’t been for that tough luck. Having anorexia, I’d like to think, has made me a more sympathetic person. Anorexia has given me perspective. Anorexia has guided me to the path I want to pursue. Anorexia has made me realize my passion. So, do I wish I had never encountered anorexia? Would I change anything? Not for a single second.
Sometimes, it takes a battle to find beauty.
About the Author: Currently a senior in high school, Simran Bansal is Project HEAL’s youngest National Ambassador. She currently resides on Long Island, New York. After her insurance denied her coverage to residential because she “wasn’t sick enough,” Simran decided to become involved with Project HEAL to ensure that others wouldn’t be hindered from recovery solely due to inadequate financial means. In addition, Simran is the founder of Numbers Don’t Define Us (www.numbersdontdefineus.com), a site that aims to create a positive environment that fosters recovery through language, imagery, and self-expression. She wants to spread the message that no scale can determine our hearts, our souls, and our minds. On her website, Simran combines her love for writing and photography in her weekly blog posts. In her free time, Simran loves to watch The Office, hang out with friends, and volunteer locally. Her favorite ice-cream flavor is Haagen Daaz cookies n’ cream with lots of caramel sauce on top!