Meet Megan Dunn – She used to have a secret…
It is with great honor that I introduce to you this week’s Beautiful Disaster, Megan Dunn. Megan is a personal friend and a true inspiration. Not only has she overcome so much at her young age but she is not afraid to talk about it in hopes that it helps even one person.
Megan takes care of our little girl and she is the best. We love you Megan and we are honored to feature your story here.
Everyone, Meet Megan.
Before the age of seventeen I experienced severe body image issues, eating disorders, self harming, alcohol and drug abuse, and ended with rehab; calling myself a beautiful disaster is a complete understatement.
My body issues started at the young age of seven, between bullies at school, and big brother bullies at home, the torment never ended; I thoroughly believed the words that were being thrown at me and wanted to do nothing but be pretty like “Ariel” or “Barbie.”
The idea of purging was given to me after watching a teen television show that I probably shouldn’t have been watching. It showed a young teenager making herself throw up only once, and then time lapsed to several months later to her being stick thin.
I of course being just a seven year old child thought that I too could accomplish these body goals in just a matter of making myself throw up once; so I tried it, and I liked it, within a matter of weeks I had become a seven year old with an eating disorder, and hiding things and lying to my parents had become my secret past time that I had unfortunately became all too good at.
My eating disorder had grown with me, as had my bullies. Even after moving from Arizona to California at age nine, my weight was something that even these new California kids had noticed and thought they could continue the torment.
It wasn’t until age eleven that I was told to end my life for the first time, a little petition went around to the kids saying “Sign for Megan Dunn to kill herself.” After about a week of me hearing about this petition I had found it in my locker, all five pages and eighty signatures just mocking me.
Age eleven was the first time I self harmed.
No one had known how depressed I was, I was always voted “happiest,” “best smile,” and “most uplifting attitude” in elementary/ middle school yearbooks, I was a complete master of disguise and I planned to keep it that way.
After moving once again during the middle of eighth grade, I though the worst was over, that now we are all older and about to hit high school, everyone would be more mature; dear god was I wrong.
High school had to have been the most abusive years of my life, and my eating disorder and self harming just grew. I was willing to do anything to look like the other girls and just fit in; which is how I ended up hanging out with the completely wrong group of people. In a matter of months I had found a way to surround myself completely with “yes” people, I had access to anything: drugs, alcohol, parties; basically anything that could get me in trouble.
At fifteen years old I had tried cocaine for the first time and it made me feel as though I was on top of the damn world, and I learned drinking could actually make me happy; I actually believed that happiness could come from a bottle, addiction is the scariest thing I have ever faced, and it hit me hard at such a young age. I became that kid who would sneak out and do terrible things while my parents thoroughly believed I was an angel, I practically had the whole world fooled; on the outside, I was just this happy teenage girl who had confidence and loved everything about her life, on the inside, I was dead.
I soon learned that high school bullies were vicious, and they learned that I was an extremely easy target. Whether it was face to face jabs, physical abuse, or cyber bullying, I had something thrown at me daily. I thought the joke was on them, though, because I never saw myself making it to my senior year of high school.
There were several attempts of suicide between the ages of fifteen and sixteen, but little did I know that once I went to a Demi Lovato concert when I was seventeen that my life would completely change forever.
Demi was someone I had always looked up to, she was so honest about everything. She came clean about her self harm and eating disorders, even the fact that she went to rehab; I wanted nothing more in life than to be as brave as her and come clean, but I was just so scared. I didn’t want my parents to be mad at me for lying, for not being the perfect child they always pegged me to be as to their friends, I just didn’t want to let any down; so I just continued to let myself go further and further into addictions. But the day I went to this concert, my whole life changed.
I felt so completely free of everything I had been going through, Demi was able to take my mind off of my life for those several hours that the concert had been going on; my struggles, my fear, my self hatred, just gone, I was just getting lost in the music and all of the inspirational things she was saying in between songs. It wasn’t until her last song that I was able to push myself to the little stage she had transferred over to, we made eye contact and I threw my hands in the air in her direction; not even thinking about the cuts and scars I was revealing. The first thing she did was stare at my wrists, and I immediately went to put my arms back to my sides when she grabbed a hold of me. She put her face as close as she possibly could to mine and said “you’re strong, you’re beautiful, you can do this. Please get the help you need.” I was in complete shock, and of course I burst into tears. I didn’t understand how someone who didn’t even know me could have more faith in me than I had in myself, but I knew I had to make a change.
That night, after the concert was over I looked into rehabilitation sites that I could go to without any parental permission. I had found one close by, and quickly made the call; that was when my 90 day treatment started. I opted to do live out treatment so I’d be able to keep it a secret, though I did ditch school a lot in order to be able to complete my time.
Rehab had to of been one of the hardest things I had ever experienced in my life, I had no idea how deep down I had truly gotten myself, and considered just quitting many times, but I knew I had to do this for myself, there was no one else to live for at this time but me, and I was so ready to make myself proud for a change.
After my 90 days were up, I was a completely new person, someone who had a whole new outlook on life; I was slowly becoming healthy and learning how to love myself properly. Unfortunately the slight drug and alcohol use continued for about another year, but that too was something I fully was able to break away from.
I had eventually told my mom about everything, once I knew I was strong enough to handle any reaction that I could possibly get from her; I never expected the response I was given. She truly had no idea and wished I would have told her sooner, she would have given me the help I needed without any judgement; and she had immediately put me into therapy, just to keep me staying on track. Looking back now, I know that, that’s exactly what I should done, come clean and let others in to help, but I do not regret anything that has happened in my life; It is all stuff that has made me, me.
I am extremely proud to say that I am now twenty years old, two years sober, and three years “strong” from self harming and eating disorders. I am a nanny and love my job so, so much, it truly keeps me on track and gives me a feeling of being needed; these kids look up to me and there is no way in hell I will ever let them down. I also help other young boys and girls who are going through what I went through, no one deserves to go through it alone, so I give out my number and support anyone who needs my help by giving them the confidence to tell their parents, or helping them find a rehabilitation center.
I honestly love my life now, I am confident, I can truly say I love myself, and I am so proud of the beautiful disaster my life has been to get me to this point.
If anyone needs to reach out to Megan, or knows someone who could benefit from a pen pal, text chat or over the phone conversation, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and that can be arranged.
Shout out to Demi Lovato for being honest & open. Boy would we love to get you some Beautiful Disaster Clothing and expand on your story for this blog!
Original Submission: 2/17/15
Would you like to share your story and be featured on the Beautiful Disaster Blog? Please email email@example.com