This post has taken me 2 months to write mostly because of the social anxiety that everyone will know me and what I’ve done. Lol but that’s fine.
My name is Julie wangechi Chege. I’m a depression survivor and kick- butter. I love laughing. It’s my favourite past time.
My battle with my body began when I was young. My parents recall to my childhood as a slim girl who hated eating, but that changed when certain stresses in my life had me turning to food as a comfort. Slowly this progressed to binge eating and hiding those midnight snacks from people. Eventually those sins came out in the open with me being a bigger kid than most.
I was the bigger kid in class while in primary. This also meant that I was well endowed in the frontal area. This attracted the wrong kind of crowd into my life at a young age. I think I rolled with it because I didn’t see myself being beautiful as other kids my age who had slim bodies, and perky everything. I was just chubby and round with boobs…haha. With this wrong crowd I ended up doing things that weren’t healthy for a young kid and habits formed from those associations.
Fast forward to high school where I was still a big kid. My self-esteem was low low low. I believed everything everyone said about me (and high school girls are mean so you can imagine the damage). My coping mechanisms to stress had always been food so I turned to that and eventually the grub runs out and you have nothing to do but think of your problems, severe depression set in then.
In form three I tried to commit suicide. I don’t think I was serious about it though but the thought was there and I freaked out. I turned even more to food and became even bigger. People would make fun of my size and I would listen and keep running those comments on a loop in my head, driving me more insane. I turned to my books because I didn’t really feel like I fit in in high school. Thank goodness for that. I think campus is where I got to reaffirm myself the most.
After high school I tried a lot of fad diets that didn’t really work. That ate into an already dismal self-esteem. I joined campus almost immediately and because my focus was more into passing and surviving I stopped thinking of my body as much. However the thought still lingered and depression was swept under the rug but it would cause me to trip and get suicidal here and there.
I lost a lot of friends during this time. No one knew how to handle me. I was up and down. Laughing with you one minute, ignoring you the next, thinking of dying and how I could do it. The biggest attempt was in 2015. The reason was really stupid but to me at that time I couldn’t wrap my mind around it, so I assumed leaving this world would be better than me being around.
When I survived that, I was so angry. The anger was good. I was mad at myself mostly. I couldn’t believe that I had gotten to the point where leaving those I loved and loved me back was better than me staying. I vowed to take a year to learn who I was without any extra opinions of others. And that was where my life changed- In 2016.
I remember beginning the year in church and telling God He has the year to fix me or I’ll leave it. And God did. That’s the year I saw beauty in myself, both internal and external. I found friends who loved me for me and didn’t put me down. I discovered that people’s opinions of me are just that, and I can’t change them (I can’t deny this still bugs me sometimes). I discovered God and what he defines as beauty. And I began to blossom from the inside.
My advice to everyone is to take a minute and think before you speak to others. You don’t know what that person is going through and sometimes that joke about the person’s weight, skin tone, height, hair or whatever could be their breaking point. So be mindful of your words and know that you can be more than just another face to them.
My motto: – keep smiling, laugh out loud and keep striving for growth.