digging through the past

as i was running on the treadmill this morning for the first time in over a week, i found myself in a weird place. i almost felt as though my mind was in a different world. i caught myself looking at the blank wall in front of me… then my eyes shifted down to the floor where all of my college things were sitting. boxes & boxes of unpacked stuff.

stuff that i’m afraid to dig through.

i moved home from college in january of 2009 and i still hadn’t unpacked yet. why, you might ask? because my move came so sudden. i wanted to get off campus and never look back. i wanted to erase that chapter of my life.

2007-2008 (& the beginning of 2009) are still a blur to me.

back in 2007, when it came time for me to go to college, i was still filled with the endless self-doubt that haunted me from being bullied in middle school.  why would the people in college want to be my friend if no one in the past had wanted to?  these emotions came flooding to me as i packed my bags and left home for the very first time.  from the moment i moved on campus, i knew i was different than everyone else.  i didn’t drink and i was far from being a partier.  my dream college experience was no longer there.  for the first month or so i went home every weekend and hung out by myself.  then, in october, i told myself that if i wanted to fit in, i would have to drink… and i did.

i wanted to fit in so badly that i went against everything i believed in. the girls i lived with that year were considered my best friends & a big part of me felt that my “best friends” didn’t care about me at all. but now i know it was all in my head. i was extremely insecure from my past.

and here’s the worst part. the part i’m most ashamed of.

i’m honestly not sure how to write this or if i should write it at all. but i need to be honest, right? it’s my only secret & i hope the truth will set me free.

when i was alone, i would sit in my dorm room and hurt myself.  

i would do different things to relieve the pain in my head.  it took me away from that lonely feeling. i had no one on my side. i felt like i deserved to be in pain. there had to have been something wrong with who i was. i’d been treated poorly since middle school so i truly believed that i was majorly flawed. this horrible thing continued going on all of that year.

actually, i continued living this way for a year and a half. in pain and alone. at the end of the first semester of my sophomore year, i hated myself so much that i stopped going to meals with my friends… i didn’t want to be seen. i reached my highest weight of 260 during this time. i spent every possible moment in my bed just crying. there were days i didn’t want to live.

i look back at this now and wonder how i ever thought that ripping myself apart would make anything better. at the time, it did. i wish i could take it all back.

all i ever wanted my entire life was to be treated with kindness. my parents eventually found out that i was living a nightmare and we made the decision for me to move home halfway through sophomore year.  the 40 minute daily commute would be a lot better for me.

after i moved home, i decided that i needed to make a major change in my life.  i would say that this was one of many ‘ah-ha” moments for me. moving home was the best decision i could have ever made. yes, i lost ALL of my friends, but i needed to get away from everything.  it was as if something just clicked inside of my head. i no longer wanted to let my past experiences of bullying run my life.  i had let the “mean girls” control who i was for long enough.

the first step in healing my wounds was to learn to love. first and foremost, learn to love myself. it’s the hardest thing i’ve ever had to do. learning to love & accept yourself is a challenge. you can’t fix it overnight. all of this happened 3 years ago and i’m still working on it!

i can now say that i truly do love who i am today. i’m a completely different person and it’s all because i’ve learned that i am worth it. i am worthy of love and happiness. i deserve nothing but the best!

today, i’m surrounded by people who love and support me no matter what. that’s the most important thing i could have done for myself! i’m working on ME and MY HAPPINESS. i need to be selfish once in a while. i’m reaching for my goals and i’m never going to stop. because I AM WORTH IT.

YOU can be ANYTHING you want to be. you CAN overcome your past!


12 thoughts on “digging through the past

  1. christime says:

    I am such that was so hard to post. good for you, honestly! I’m proud that you can admit something that was such a secret but I know that there are SO many people who can empathize and sharing your story is so inspiring ❤

    • thank you christine 🙂 it was the hardest post i’ve ever written! but i am so glad i was able to share it with the world… secrets get us no where! thanks for reading & also for the kind words! ❤

  2. artisticdork says:

    No matter where we are today we have the past to thank us for where we are. Your past a horrible as it sounds like it was, made you who you are today, a strong, caring and beautiful girl who has the world in front of her. I know its the cliché thing to say, but you have people pulling for you that you don’t, and chances are probably never will, know.

    Just remember when the going gets tough, just think of that girl who is now, in your place seeking encouragement. You are her encouragement. Keep being you, keep being real and keep being beautiful!

    • mike, thank you so so so much. this means the world to me! that’s the reason i shared this — to give hope to someone who might be struggling. i thank my past every single day ❤

  3. I’m so happy to you posted this to the world. its encouragement to others who are going through a tough time or who already did. Thank you again for sharing one of your deepest secrets, must’ve been really hard to get it out there. I’m proud of you, and you’ve come a long way! 🙂

  4. shoshana says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your deepest darkest secret with us amanda. i, for one truly identify with your feelings and i totally know where your coming from and it means so much to me that i am not alone! i also had some crazy horrible things happen to me in the past, but we just have to know- the past only makes us stronger and that the reason it happened to u was because god knew u can handle it. it is so hard! thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Ccanesso says:

    I gotta say that you are a very strong women and have so much to look forward to in the future…I bet you are going to use the past experiences to help others who are going thru that struggle… Many people go thru tough times and never have the chance to bounce back but with your inner strength you were able to beat those demons… I wish I had a great support system you have to get me moving in the right direction… I have had my struggle the past 3-4 years and been trying to move forward… I ask and pray I can beat this… Good Luck and thanks for sharing!!! You are showing what perseverance can do…..

  6. Heather says:

    You’re so brave! I’m very proud of you and I love you to pieces! :)))

  7. Terri says:

    Amanda, thank you so much for sharing your story. I know it is so very difficult, but I know in my heart you are making a difference in someone else’s life. Your courage will give strength to someone else. Let all the bad feelings out, and it will get easier. A wound doesn’t heal until the infection is gone. Peace.
    “The key to change… is to let go of fear.” ~ Roseanne Cash

  8. Janice Loughlin says:

    Amanda, sweetie, you are so right. The key to it all is learning to love yourself. I am now 62, and I regret all the time I spent comparing myself (physically) to everyone else and believing that how I looked was the most important thing. I struggled with my weight since I was a small child. My clothes came from the “Chubbettes” department at Butler’s Dept. Store in Biddeford. Yes, there actually was a big sign in that department that said Chubbettes, and it was a walk of shame every time I had to go to that part of the store. I was destined to be short. I have a hereditary condition which caused bone tumors to grow on my arms and legs and fingers making them grow crooked and lumpy, and my right arm is shorter than my left. I don’t know how or when it happened, but eventually I came to realize that it’s what on the inside that matters. I had better love who I am as a person if I was ever going to be happy. Just like you, I am kind, honest, loyal, loving, compassionate, selfless…I could go on. Yes, I exercise and try to eat right because I want to be healthy, not because I am trying to look like a supermodel. No, I am not the most perfect physical specimen on the planet, but I am a person I’d pick as a friend any time, hands down. You keep on believing that you are worthy, you matter, you are loveable. Because YOU ARE! !

  9. Carmen says:


    You are so brave to share this post. I am so glad I found beautiful, wonderful, you through beautiful, wonderful Mary Kathryn Tyson.

    ❤ Carmen

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