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University at Buffalo ​this video has been in the back of my head for longer than it should have been and I think it's about time I talked about it and explain why things are the way they are if you're here just to see what I look like just hold on a bit longer I have really important things to explain briefly the first few reasons I don't show myself are because I don't want people to have an opinion of my content and who I am based on what I look like we live in a society that almost revolves around appearance people can become famous just for their looks people use appearances and excuse not to like someone and fine if you don't like me or what I do but if you're only reason would be because you don't like what I look like then what kind of argument is that I'm very shy and prefer to keep to myself I still want to have privacy but there's a main reason and I haven't told this story to anyone the thing is I don't tell people my problems because I feel like I can handle them on my own and I don't want to drag people into my messes I don't want to hurt anyone and if you knowing i'm hurt hurt to you and I don't want to tell you when I'm hurting if that makes any sense at all but here we go right it's not a secret I don't think very highly of myself I joke about it a lot and i'm pretty open about it when i was young i actually had a lot of confidence people gave me compliments and said nice things and i believe them and was proud of myself but as I got older I began having doubt I started thinking that people were lying to me or they said things and didn't really mean it words can't affect you when you don't let them people say that all the time but it's easy to forget it goes the same way with positive words as negative that led me to telling myself I wasn't good enough and i had to do better my standard slowly started getting higher and higher without me realizing how bad it was getting by the end of high school I felt like I wasn't good enough for anything even though people would be telling me wow you're doing so great you're so talented I would say thank you not to be rude but it was in one ear out the other I didn't hear it I went to college with the same mindset not feeling like I was good enough for anything standards for myself always getting higher and that's the problem I push myself so hard to get better at everything and I do improve but it's still not in for me the bar keeps getting higher before I can grab it like climbing a staircase where the top keeps getting further away in the ball and chain attached to your ankles getting heavier and heavier but you keep trying eventually this branched out to more than just what I was doing it started seeping into my self-image which wasn't high in the first place either it wasn't only telling me what I was doing wasn't enough it started telling me I wasn't enough and that's when I started wanting to fix it I started eating less trying to be happier with myself I'm naturally very thin and I've never had issues with weight before but it was like a switch in my brain that all of a sudden that wasn't good enough either it became all I could think about my whole day revolved around what I ate what it was when I how many calories every detail I wanted complete control I remember a specific day all I let myself have was half an apple and 10 Cheerios and I felt happy about it look how in control i am but i wasn't i was in this downward spiral I built up fears and rules and my head got foggy and fog year every day lack of nourishment prevented me from being able to think clearly and i was making irrational decisions I was telling myself this was what I had to do to be happy of course it was extremely painful starving myself eventually I decided I would go the entire day eating as close to nothing as possible then eating a bunch at the end to stop the pain followed by erasing it this whole awful cycle went on for several months I don't even remember anything else I was doing in my life it all just became a blur the only thing i can truly remember looking back now was just being so tired and cold and sad all the time i wasn't able to see i was getting thinner and thinner nothing was good enough my brain didn't let me see how horrible it was getting I don't know what happened but eventually I was able to break through and tell myself this wasn't what I wanted I didn't want to live like this anymore and i had to get better now here's the thing people don't realize eating disorders are the easy part the rough part is breaking it you create these fears and rules for so long that when you want to escape the jail you've built around yourself they beckon you to stay and try to drag you back in promising happiness and how they're only here to protect you they let you feel like you're the one in control when you're not you're the puppet on strings and when you try to cut yourself free not only do you face your fears head-on but you live them here's some information about what happens to your body when it's starving when it realizes it's not getting enough food to create energy for itself it starts slowing down your metabolism which is the process of converting calories into energy it slows down in order to conserve the energy it has left for important things like keeping your heart pumping and your organs working but the tricky part is when you start refeeding it things don't just go back to normal right away your body doesn't trust that you'll keep feeding it again and it starts storing extra energy for the next starvation if you don't realize what that means basically it starts extra weight as energy predicting it won't

have food again for a long time your metabolism is still slow and you face the nightmare that drove you to the disorder in the first place it's not just in your head anymore before I go any further I'd like to say that I believe people can be perfectly happy at any weight I'm not saying these things in order to make anyone feel ashamed because wait shouldn't matter in general it's about how you think of yourself and as long as you're relatively healthy and take care of yourself I believe that's the most important thing but this isn't as simple as just getting thinner there's so much more to it I wish I could express you how toxic your mind becomes while dealing with something like this it's not how your brain would normally function when it's clear you know what you're doing to yourself is wrong but you just can't shake it it has a death grip on you so I was attempting recovery completely on my own I'll remind you I didn't tell anyone in my life what I was going through and it was indescribably difficult I wouldn't wish it on anyone I had to be the doctor and the patient I kept saying this is what will make you better you're on the right path but the voice was still there you're a disgrace look what you've done look what eating is done to you this isn't what you want come back to me I'm here for you I didn't want to list to it I kept telling myself everything was fine I'm doing the right thing I just have to give it time over and over I wanted to believe it so badly but the voice wouldn't go away it's always there I didn't want anyone to see me I felt like I was a disappointment to everyone and didn't deserve to be in front of people I could feel their judgment in my head I didn't deserve food I was unacceptable I never wanted to leave my room and I probably wouldn't've but there is one thing VidCon I already planned to go before things got so bad because you have to plan so far in advance for it I didn't want to let people down by breaking my promise to be there and I wanted to see all my friends and supporters but I was in such a terrible state I didn't know what I was going to do I was panicking I wasn't ready I wasn't back to normal yet but I was approaching so quickly and there wasn't any time to go back I told myself this was my punishment I did this to myself so I put on a mask and pretended to be fine I was trying to act like myself so much that I wasn't even me anymore I became a stranger to who I actually am even though I was horribly uncomfortable my weight was higher than my average from starving myself my Chiefs were swollen from making myself throw up every day for so many months my mind was telling me I was a letdown to everyone my selfimage and the steam was at an all-time low I tried my hardest to push through it every person i met the voice inside me said you're such a disappointment you aren't good enough for them I felt like I could feel every single person's discontent through their embrace but I didn't let the mask flip off and I kept truckin through I let people take pictures but I really wish I didn't it was the lowest I've ever felt in my life and I felt like I was a lie to everyone it was almost like I wasn't even there I wasn't present it was just a days after the convention was over I was so mentally torn to shreds I wasn't okay I felt like all the progress I was trying to make to get better had just been ripped down the voice was louder than ever drowning out the one that was telling me everything was going to be okay I realized I couldn't let people on YouTube see me when I was in such a toxic horrible state I message the person who was taking a lot of video footage and asked them if I could send to my face out I'm not going to mention who this person is because that detail doesn't add anything to this story and I don't think it would benefit anyone if I did they agreed so I spent the afternoon editing their video censoring my face I wasn't myself in the video and I didn't want people to see the mask I put on for myself when I finished and sent it over a few hours later they told me they changed their mind and wanted to post the normal video I was absolutely mortified and forced myself to explain to them the main reasons why I don't want to show myself hoping that if they knew the story behind it it would help them change their mind again but it didn't I've had disagreements with this person in the past and from what I understand this person is very adamant when they have their mind on something so of me having edited the video for them and explaining the story behind it wasn't enough I came to the conclusion i couldn't do anything else to change their mind and let them post it I thought I had experienced the worst already but this destroyed me a nightmare where hundreds of thousands of people are wanting to see you and then when they finally do it's at the lowest darkest point of your life and they don't even know it and you don't show yourself people develop expectations I don't know what those expectations are and I feel like sometimes they don't even know what they are but I believed with all my heart I disappointed every single one it's not just the fact I wasn't where I wanted to be appearance-wise so many people saw me for the first time when I was at such an awful point mentally and I felt so much deeper into darkness I've ever been I felt like I was drowning in my own emotions every time i tried to get back to the surface to breathe another way would crash down on me and pull me right back under again I started having even darker thoughts and I knew I should have been scared of them but I wasn't and that's what scared me the voice was echoing in my head all completely muting out the other one every day I just wanted to feel happy again I wanted to wake up and everything's just normal not one day passed without me hating myself I couldn't find a reason to get out of bed I felt broken and that no one could fix me black fog surrounded me everywhere I went and I couldn't breathe that was so stretched thin I was trying so hard to swim but the waves kept coming each one stronger than the last but I kept going I don't know why there wasn't a reason and I couldn't

really find one I just did and even though I didn't have a reason for myself not to give up pushing through everything I wanted to be there for people I want to be able to be there for people like me who felt like they couldn't go to anyone and are drowning and help them like how I wanted someone to reach out and help me I want to exist for other people I don't really care about myself that may or may not be a good thing to say I don't really know at this point right now but i'll mention one thing I've thought to myself that helped me I consider myself a weak person i can get knocked down relatively easily and I knock myself down a lot too we always talk about how is strong someone is but I feel like it doesn't have to matter how strong or weak you are what matters is that you just keep getting back up something could knock down a weak person and not even affect a strong person but it doesn't matter how many times you're knocked down because as long as you keep getting back up you can keep going I don't want to live in the past and I'm not here to feel sorry for myself because I'm not one to do that it doesn't get anyone anywhere the past doesn't change it happened whether you like it or not adapt and push forward even if you feel like you don't have a reason to use those feelings to help push people who need it if you can't help yourself help others then eventually you might be able to learn how to help yourself too if you're still here I really appreciate it I can't express how much it means to me that you care enough to listen to what some random person on the internet is saying just telling their story I tried to keep it as short as I could so it wasn't boring I could write a novel about all the things I felt during that time but hopefully I got at least some points across in the right way me and I don't know what else to say other than just thanks Rockland Community College.