Updated: Mar 8
By: Corinne Weber, Author of Where the Monster Weights
Life is a miraculous gift that we have been given where we can share love, happiness, and experience indescribable joy. However, I also believe we live in world where darkness and hardship can consume our lives. I am no exception as I have experienced this darkness.
As an American expat growing up in Singapore, my life was filled with various opportunities and experiences. I have been blessed with seeing the world as I traveled to a new country every year and attended one of the best high schools in the world. My journey was rich with new experiences around every corner and I had an amazing family who loved and supported me. My life was filled with love, joy, hope, and an expectant future, but suddenly a silent darkness crept into my story.
My twin brother lost himself during his freshman year of high school. His experience significantly impacted me as I watched him deteriorate as he experimented with drugs and alcohol. Over time he became extremely depressed and began cutting himself and engaged in other harmful activities. I observed helplessly as my happy family began to unravel into a pit of anger and despair. As months passed with no signs of improvement, my family decided to send my brother back to the states to seek treatment. My mother went with him fearing that he would take his own life. As a sophomore in high school, I was a young girl with no direction and felt completely and utterly alone and abandoned.
I must admit that I was a perfectionist, and as someone who upheld an impossible standard for herself, I believed that I needed to be “okay”. Because of this, I internalized my pain and believed that if I buried it, I could manage it. This, however, wasn’t the case. Suffering in silence, I began to lose weight. Soon I realized that the more weight I lost, the more that the individuals around me took notice. My classmates, family friends, and teachers would say, “Corinne have you lost weight? You look good!” As I looked in the mirror, I began to notice my deflating stomach, my slim face, and narrowing thighs. With this, I began to believe that I had a talent for losing weight.
The year soon came to a close and my brother and mother came back from the United States. My brother had completely changed and returned full of life. He had found the will to live again; however, as one child came back healthy and strong, the other was broken.
I had become a different person when my brother was away. I had become angry, irritable, and was consumed with the thought of losing weight. In the beginning of my senior year I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa and was advised not to attend college to focus on recovery. I remember being crushed by this. After many discussions, my parents agreed to let me attend school as long as I saw a nutritionist and a psychologist twice a week. I agreed, but silently plotted a way to get out of treatment. I was in denial and told myself that there was nothing wrong with me or the voice inside my head that told me I couldn’t trust anyone except my eating disorder.
During my freshman year of college I continued to lose weight. At 79 pounds I began to lose focus and energy. I also started to feel helpless as my grades decreased and depression started to consume my life. The voices inside my head never ceased telling me that I wasn’t good enough, that I was fat, and that everyone hated me. To silence these voices, and because my body was shutting down, I would sleep over 14 hours a day. My life had taken a turn for the worse and once again, I felt completely alone.
On September 11th, 2011, I sat in my dorm room alone, admitted that I had a problem, and gained the courage to ask for help. For the first time in three years, I fell to the floor and prayed. With tears streaming down my face I asked God for help because I knew I could not continue living on the path that I was going. I asked for a sign and He gave me one. Not two minutes after I concluded my prayer I heard a knock at my door. As I opened the door, a friend of mine stood before me with a concerned look on her face asking, “Corinne, are you okay? I got a strange feeling and came down to check on you.” At that moment I knew I needed to change my life, and I did.
Ever since that faithful day, I have found the will to live again and strive for recovery. It hasn’t been easy but overcoming this adversity has been ultimately a blessing. Through my pain, numerous new doors have opened that I never foresaw. I published a book, Where the Monster Weights, that highlights my experiences with anorexia and recovery. The book has taken me on an incredible journey as it has now been picked up for a feature film. It has given me a platform to speak publicly at different seminars and hospitals as well as the opportunity to meet with suffers’ one-on-one.
Currently, I am now pursuing my dream in a graduate program at Chapman University studying to be a Marriage and Family Therapist.
As an anorexia survivor, I could look at my past experiences with a view that avoids the painful memories, but I chose, and choose, to grow from the suffering, to change the world for the better. I believe that it is my duty to serve and give back to my community. Life is a journey with its ups and downs, and although we often go through darkness, the darkness can be the catalyst that sparks a single flame that can illuminate a room.
We are so thankful to Corinne for sharing her story! To purchase her book, please click here!