Finally Beautiful

For as long as I can remember I have hated the way I look. As far back as elementary school I would compare myself to the others, I starved myself at 15, and have ping-ponged wildly between skipping meals and binging junk food in a spiral of self-loathing ever since. Despite medication and targeted therapy to treat Borderline Personality Disorder and Depression I was diagnosed with last year, the topic of food, appearances, and my weight remains a touchy subject. In fact it's only been in the past year that I have been able to talk about it without immediately breaking down or lashing out.

I am now 32 and only just scheduled for my first appointment at a specialized clinic. Despite appearing fine on the outside, the condition is now severe enough to warrant an intensive first month of on-site meals, regular supervision, and therapy aimed at treating eating disorders. I start on Monday - tomorrow - and I am very nervous. I dread gaining weight, I worry it won't work; I can't imagine a life where I'm not constantly obsessing over food, where I might even appreciate how I look. But I also can't wait to be rid of it. I don't want to be 40, 50, 60 and obsessed with how I look when there's a whole world out there to experience instead.

My mantra used to be "I'd rather be skinny and dead than fat and happy", and I held to that until a I wound up in a ward for attempting to take my own life.

Now I just want to move on. To get better. To see what's on the other side.

To that end I drew these portraits. I want to remember where I was when I finally started on this path to healing. I want people experiencing something similar to know they're not alone, and that there are people or places out there who can help. I want to be vulnerable if it means I can help someone else out there, and I hope once day I can look back on these from a place where I'm comfortable in my own skin.

Instead of wanting to be rid of it.

-- Athena/SAK
Artwork © Shamine Athena King

I generally try to keep the tone of my galleries upbeat, if not quirkily dark. The way I see it, the world sucks enough as it is without needing to contribute to it.

That being said, I think there are some conversations worth having.

I generally try to keep the tone of my galleries upbeat, if not quirkily dark. The way I see it, the world sucks enough as it is without needing to contribute to it.

That being said, I think there are some conversations worth having.