Megan’s Story: Finding Self-Esteem after Anorexia and Depression

Megan is a 17 years old teen girl who sees her self-esteem as moderate to low.  She was an obese child in grammar school and lost 40 pounds by eating healthy and swimming regularly. She was bullied and teased relentlessly because of the weight. That had a very damaging effect on her. She then swung the pendulum in the complete opposite direction and between eighth-grade and freshman year of high school she became anorexic.  As an anorexic, she counted calories and every chew. To this day she needs someone to distract her when she’s eating or she will count the calories and not eat enough. She also suffers from depression, which was obvious to me from the start of the interview. I’d say Megan was the saddest girl I interviewed for this book. She smiled once during the whole interview, and that was when I asked her what made her happy. Her response to me was “food” with a dreamy smile on her face.She has an unhealthy love affair with food. Her family situation is far from ideal, like many girls her deal with eating disorders. She has no relationship with her father, literally. Her parents are still married, although it seems they shouldn’t be based on her story. They all live in the same house, which seems to act like a prison for her mother.  It seems to be a very depressing environment.  She said that she learned a long time ago that it’s not worth trying to please her dad because it’s impossible. For years she tried and only failed over and over again in her father’s eyes. She clearly identifies the eating disorder and depression as directly related to her father.  Or rather, the lack of relationship with her father. She talked about how cruel kids can be and how she would never bully anyone because she knows what it feels like firsthand. She identifies and hangs out with a group of girls who “could be” considered bullies at her school. I’m assuming this is a strategy or defense so that she herself would never be bullied by them. She still struggles with her relationship with food and has very poor body image. When she looks in the mirror she still sees that obese child. She sees a therapist weekly and takes antidepressants. She still laments for the time when she was anorexic.

2 thoughts on “Megan’s Story: Finding Self-Esteem after Anorexia and Depression

  1. “She smiled once during the whole interview, and that was when I asked her what made her happy. Her response to me was “food” with a dreamy smile on her face.”

    This is so poignant. It’s far too common a belief that anorectics hate food, when many of us fixate on it, look at it, prepare it, obsess over it, and even dream about it.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • HI Scarlett- Thanks for your comment. Most of the women I have known to suffer from anorexia love food (cook books, cooking, talking about food, cooking shows etc.) as if these activities are to satisfy their hunger instead. More of Megan’s story will be in my book. Please stay tuned.

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