My first year of college, Tara and I were still pretty inseparable. I went to Institute with her fairly often. I specifically remember an institute class where Brother Nelson explained how choosing to be offended really only hurts you. I had recently been offended by a friend and had decided I was no longer going to spend my time with someone who believed the offensive thing she had said to me. During this lesson, I realized that I was trying to punish her for saying such hurtful things to me but in reality, I was punishing myself. I had been carrying a much larger burden than I needed to and I just felt gross inside. I made a goal to try not to take offense and to forgive others.
My second year of college, I continued to spend time with Tara and attend institute sporadically. About half way through the semester, I became very sick because I had an eating disorder. I struggled with low self esteem for a years. I remember a time I was leaving the gym and reflecting on a conversation I had there. The conversation was with a women who had a lot of confidence. She had said to me that we all have weaknesses and there is nothing we can do about them. We just have to accept ourselves the way we are. Some of us have certain tendencies and our lives will be be happier when we learn to embrace those natural feelings. Now, I understand what she was saying but to me, then, I felt like she was telling me there is nothing I can do to change who I am. This was so depressing to me. I am always going to be anorexic? I can't change? I am stuck hating myself? This is how I felt at the time. It was clear to me that I needed to make some kind of major course correction but I started to believe that the kind of change I needed was impossible. Needless to say, my condition just got worse and there was a time after I had eaten very little for weeks, that I thought I was ready to die of anorexia.