The other day my dad told me that I inspire him.  When I talk with him about my fight for recovery and what I want to accomplish in the next few years, he is inspired to take control of his life and live out his dreams.  He told me I make him realize how life is supposed to be lived.

This is the man that I look up to and learn so much from.  He has been my rock through the most excruciatingly difficult times in my life and has never wavered in his support for me.  He has (and continues to) put a roof over my head and food in my belly because I have been too sick and broke to do so.

He takes care of me, and is helping me grow into the woman I wish to be.  He inspires me, yet my journey inspires him in return.

Who are you inspiring? Who are you fighting for?

I fight because I love my younger cousin.  She is 14 and about to enter high school.  I don’t want her to think that beauty and weight are the most important things in life.  I want her to have an older cousin she can look to for support.

I fight because I have friends in NYC in the performing arts who deal with harsh rejection every day.  They are made to feel that they are not pretty enough, thin enough or good enough.  They hear “no” over and over and over again.  I want them to know that success may be just around the corner, and that fighters come out on top.

I fight because I know that there are others out there who feel lonely and tired.  They don’t know anyone who is dealing with the issues they are facing, and don’t know where to turn for help.  They aren’t sure if life is ever going to get better.  I want them to feel that they have a safe place, a community where they can get the support they need.  I want them to see that recovery is possible, one step at a time.

Fight because you never know who you are inspiring.  I didn’t know that I was inspiring my dad.

I’m just me.  I don’t have an army of people asking for me to lead them to a better life.  My cousin has yet to ask me questions about body image.  My friends in NYC have yet to cry on my shoulder because they feel rejected.  Right now, my fight is my own.  But when the time comes, and I am needed, I want to be there.  I want to be able to be that support.  I fight now so that I can help others fight in the future.

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