“When I was in 4th grade, I struggled with body image issues. I wanted to look perfect, and I didn’t. I just felt horrible about myself. That led to not eating, and then overeating and not keeping it. I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough, not skinny enough, not good enough. It was ingrained in my mind that I had to look a certain way.
“In 7th grade, I also began struggling with depression, and I began cutting my arms. I remember once I cut the word “FAT” into my arm, and I told myself that by the time it healed, I would finally be skinny. Of course when it healed, I still didn’t think I was skinny.
“As I got older and turned 21, I started drinking a lot. I definitely abused alcohol and drank too much, and continued to do so until I had my first child. That’s when I realized that I was not 21 anymore, and I couldn’t look to alcohol to solve my problems. But then the depression came back, and it stayed until my second child was born. That was in 2011, and that’s when I found Jesus.
“I began going to Life Chapel in Point Pleasant, and I began studying the bible and applying it to my life, and it helped me feel connected. Right now I am helping Life Chapel prepare for a 5K on October 13th. We are raising money for our missionaries that are helping people in recovery and in low-income housing here at the shore. Meeting with the people to put together that event has been so helpful for me. Committing to that and my life group, changes the way I feel when I am having a bad day.”
“I have a daughter in 4th grade now, which is the age I started having my body-image issues. Thankfully, I don’t see any signs of any body image issues with her. I always keep lines of communication open with her. We talk about everything. She and I keep a journal together. We started doing it in first grade. She would write me little notes and I would write her back. We did that for a while, and then it stopped. But just this past week she found it, and we started doing it again. And she will tell me, ‘Mom, I left you a note in the journal on your dresser.’ And that excites me so much to do that with her. I just wrote her back this morning and put it in her room. I love that I have that communication with her and my younger daughter.”
~ Divi Tree, Point Pleasant Boro