The successful Kickstarter project and anti-bullying comic book by Grayhaven Comics You Are Not Alone is a very special and important book for me. My four page story is entitled “Starving My Life”, is one of the stories included in this edition, which also features work from comic book professionals Gail Simone (Batgirl), Patrick Shand (Robyn Hood), and Raven Gregory (Grimm Fairy Tales), along with over 90 other talented writers and artists.
My story was easy to put into words, but at the same time I found it emotionally draining, because of how personal my story was. To make sure I got my message across, I had to relive every detail of what I experienced and describe it in detail to make it clear for my artist, Anita Tung.
Because, when you write a story in comic book format, you have to describe emotions, clothing, scenery, facial expressions, and anything else the artist needs to portray your words to the audience through art. The words were easy, but writing in detail everyone in the scene’s facial expressions and emotions was the draining part. It was like I was reliving it again, but this time, through their eyes.
And my story in You Are Not Alone is a true story about my struggles with anorexia.
To make a long story short, I was diagnosed with anorexia when I was 13-years old. I found creative ways to hide my lack of eating and eventually it took a toll on me mentally.
My breaking point came when I was 14-years old. I went to school one day and told my counselor I wanted to end my life. You could say this was the moment everyone in my life woke up to what I was doing to myself and I was finally given the help I needed. Not to say they hadn’t tried to help me before, but I don’t think they realized the extent of what I was doing to myself.
With support from friends and those that loved me, I overcame, at least the dangerous part, of an eating disorder.
Despite the fact that this all happened when I was a teenager, I still have issues when it comes to my body image. As a cosplayer, I’m judged every-time I put on my costume, and thanks to a strong support system, for the most part I’m able to brush off any negativity about my body. When I can’t brush it off, my friends and family give me the support I need to keep me from standing on the ledge again.
You Are Not Alone is important because it has given me an outlet to tell my story as a recovering anorexic and the story of those that suffered with me, whether I knew they were suffering or not.
You Are Not Alone is available now through Grayhaven Comics website. If you’re an educator, youth organizer, or library, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a free copy.