Loving Myself Every Day

Paper 4 Final

Grace Horner

Fundamentals of Journalism: Paper 4

Dr. Ross Fuglsang

December 8, 2010

Holly Habrock has everything going for her.  She has a degree as an esthetician, a job as a personal assistant, and her own apartment in Omaha, Nebraska.  Her boyfriend has a promising job as an air traffic controller for the air force.  Her family is loving and supportive, with her sister living on the other side of town.  But Holly’s life wasn’t always so good.  When her home life got difficult during her high school years, Holly had a dark secret that she used as a coping mechanism.

Holly developed bulimia in high school.  She started throwing up at the age of fourteen.  There were a number of reasons she made herself throw up.  “I got into a bad crowd.  I think a lot of it was the internet,” she says, “This girl added me because she saw my profile on myspace.  I remember her telling me how great it was to be skinny.”

But Holly also had troubles at home.  Her father was emotionally abusive towards her and her mom.  “I wasn’t Holly,” she says, “I was ‘hey bitch’, or ‘come here you little whore.’”

Holly’s father was also an alcoholic and dabbled in using drugs.  Holly believes that he has used marijuana and cocaine, as well as heroin and meth. 

Because of those issues, her mother developed her own mental issues.  “She got really weird.  I think it was because of the shit with my dad.  I wasn’t in the best shape either, my sister had just gone to college, and her uncle had died.  I think it was a mixture of all those things.  She felt like she wasn’t needed anymore,” Holly says sadly.

“When I made myself puke,” she says, “everything bad in my life when down the toilet.  It was a release for me.”

Bulimia didn’t just affect Holly’s relationship with her family.  It affected her schooling; she missed forty days of school during her sophomore year of high school.  She started having headaches, and was in and out of the hospital for stomach problems – which were aggravated by heavy drinking.  She also had a toxic relationship with her boyfriend at the time.  “He knew and was ok with it, so I saw him as kind of a safe person,” Holly says.  “I latched onto him.”

Due to her bulimia and the other problems at home, Holly also pulled away from her family.  And she didn’t have many friends.  “I was a total bitch to everyone,” Holly says.

She had reached the point where she didn’t even care about weight.  After years of doing it, it was an urge; just something she had to do.

When she reached 85 pounds, her family started to realize something was wrong.  After dinner one night, Holly went into the bathroom to throw up.  That night was different though, because her mom heard her gagging and retching.  Her parents and sister sat her down and staged and intervention.  “My mom and sister starting crying, they said they didn’t want to lose me,” Holly says.  “I didn’t know they cared.”

So the healing started.  Her family started going to counselor after counselor.  When they found one that worked, it helped a lot.  “She helped me learn that I didn’t that,” Holly says.  “I just needed to be myself.  They threatened that if I didn’t stop, my heart would give out and I would die.  I already had heart issues from when I was a baby.” 

After three years, Holly had finally gotten healthy.  She is now a beautiful, bright 21-year-old woman with her whole life ahead of her.  “My faith helped me through a lot,” Holly says.  “That and the support of my friends and family.”