Let me ask you- have you ever felt trapped in your own mind? Like your stuck in a complex, dark and mysterious void. A crack in time. Everything is moving around you, but you remain still, motionless in a thought. Well for me, the thought of being a model played on my mind like a constant record player on repeat.

This thought, manifested into the epitome that dictated my life for four and a half years. I was 15, young, naïve and caught up in the idealistic world of glitz and glamour. I started obsessing over a certain look: I needed to be slim, beautiful and obtain all the essential qualities that a super model must hold. I was adamant I needed to achieve these traits to be noticed and recognised.

But once this obsession slowly manifested in my mind, there was no turning back. Anything my parents’, doctor or psychologist’s said to me became invalid, and I became determined to prove they could never change me. I was in control and determined to become the model I wanted to become.

Yet after four months of constant fighting, a disastrous trip to Europe and myself slowly fading into nothing, I was forced into institutionalized care. Restricted to a hospital bed as my home, the occasional allowance from my doctor that my parents could visit me and being force fed through a tube, I still had no desire to change.

So for me, when I was 16 and scouted on the side of the road by very well-known agency, this was the greatest victory for obeying the voice in my head that would scream at me not to eat. The scout had looked me up and down and excitedly proclaimed that I should be a model as I was in her words ‘so slim’ and I wanted nothing more than to say yes. My mum however, refused as I was still amidst my recovery and I’m so grateful that she did.

Anorexia was like my drug- I needed it in my life. I felt like I would be judged by everyone if I gained weight. I got high off listening to its cruel and sadistic voice, because I was achieving something I always wanted, or at least I thought I wanted.

I had watched as my friends blossomed into the grown-ups they were destined to become, whilst I went in and out of hospital, head strong in maintaining my twelve-year-old body. All for the sake of a dream to be a part of the lustrous magazines I read.

Fast tracking through four years of pain, I can now declare I’ve overcome this passage in my life and am the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been- fully recovered and loving life. It was during these years that I learnt more than what any schooling degree could teach me, life lessons of acceptance and love. I now no longer wish to be a model, rather an individual content with her body and life surroundings.

It’s fair to say at this point in time I’m lost in a new thought, and this thought embodies self-acceptance.. No matter your size, skin colour, nationality or age we should, every single day, look in the mirror and see a beautiful reflection. In a world that’s so caught up in the allure of acceptance from others, I think we can all learn from this message: Instead of seeking the acceptance from others, find self-acceptance, it’s the only way you’ll achieve your dreams.

Trust me, because I’m now achieving mine.