As both full-time nursing student and full-time nursing assistant, Sammantha always appeared to “have it all together.” However, from an early age, Sammantha was struggling internally with low self-esteem and depression. Because of negative messages about her body and a diagnosis of dyslexia, Sammantha felt very different from her peers as early as elementary school. In order to compensate, Samm threw herself into sports and activities, which allowed her to feel more in control. By high school, Samm was a world champion powerlifter and was passionate about being a strong athlete with a powerful body to mask her feelings of inadequacy. This passion became an obsession, which when combined with clinical depression, resulted in a struggle with an eating disorder. Most days, Sammantha’s mind was consumed with negative thoughts about her weight and food until she felt as if she was literally drowning in her own miserable self-judgements.

During the summer of 2013, Sammantha’s health deteriorated to a level where she was in serious jeopardy. She began inpatient treatment for depression and her eating disorder. Through time and a great deal of work, she has been able to identify her distorted thought-processes and learn how to combat these beliefs in positive ways. Now, she is able to share her story and create awareness about the destruction of eating disorders and the underlying issues that can cause them.