Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 5:58:02 AM
All my life I've known that I want to help people. Throughout my life people have come to me with their problems and I have always been happy to lend an ear or offer some advice because I enjoy helping people.But it wasn't until I read Wintergirls that I realized just how strong my desire to help people was. Wintergirls is a powerful novel that completely changed my perspective on body issues. I never understood why people starved themselves. The idea was a foreign concept to me until I read this book. The novel is about a girl named Lia who struggles with anorexia and has been in and out of treatment centers that have never helped her. Throughout the book she struggles with her desire to eat, but she convinces herself that when she doesn't she is strong, not weak like everyone keeps trying to tell her. Hearing Lia’s thoughts and the self-hatred she felt toward herself completely broke my heart. Every thought she had was about how much she hated herself; she was too fat, too ugly, and she would only be happy if she was skinny. She couldn't see what everyone else saw. She was skin and bones, but in her mind she was fat, nothing but a giant balloon in desperate need of being shrunk, even if it risked popping in the process. She saw her arms and legs as logs, when in reality they were pencils. Reading what she thought about herself made me cry because I realized that a lot of girls feel like that every day. I had one friend who told me she was bulimic and that she needed help, and when she told me it was so hard for me to understand why she would do that to herself. She was beautiful and kind and funny, and I struggled to try and see why she hurt herself like that. Why couldn't she see what I saw? Then I stopped and thought, and I realized I did the same thing as her. I couldn't see myself the way other people saw me. I mentally degraded myself the same way Lia did, and it finally dawned on me that I was even doing it. After that I decided that I wanted to help people like Lia, and the people that do the same thing that I did. I decided to become a psychiatrist to help people who struggle with anorexia, bulimia, and other disorders. I want to help people realize how beautiful they are as themselves. I want people to love themselves and who they are. I want to be able to help all of the people like Lia, because no one deserves to live like that. Wintergirls helped give me a purpose in my life that I will always be thankful for.