Editor’s note: As part of a media transparency initiative, on May 8, 2017, the Collegian spent the last day of publishing of the year telling our readers about us. You can read more about the people behind our publication in the Editor’s Blog.
I wrote the piece ‘what it is like to live with an eating disorder’ so that readers could be exposed to the personal experience of anorexia nervosa. So often, mental illnesses are deemed less severe than a physical ailment like cancer. While physical diseases are certainly just as difficult and tragic, overcoming a mental illness can be one of the hardest things to do. In conveying my own struggles, I hoped to show that recovery is possible. I also wanted to offer hope for those currently fighting an invisible battle with their own minds.
While awaiting publication, I was absolutely terrified. I did not know how readers would receive my story, if they would grasp its message. However, I am happy to report that there was an outpouring of support and laudation that still amazes me to this day. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read it. And thank you for receiving it in such an empathetic manner. By doing so, you are helping to de-stigmatize mental illness.
Lauren Willson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @LaurenKealani